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Military leaders: We're still too fat to fight
One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military, a group of retired military leaders says.
September 25th, 2012
09:02 AM ET

Military leaders: We're still too fat to fight

Childhood obesity isn't just a health issue, according to a group of retired military leaders. It's also a national security issue.

One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military, a new report from the advocacy group Mission: Readiness says. And the U.S. Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans.

"No other major country's military forces face the challenges of weight gain confronting America's armed forces," according to the report.

"At the end of the day, the reason America is safe and sound is not because of its tanks," adds retired Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, spokesman for Mission: Readiness. "It’s really the men and women who volunteer and so proudly serve."

Kids on average consume 130 "empty" calories a day from candy, cookies and chips, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mission: Readiness has been working to get rid of junk food in schools since 2010, when it supported the passing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The act requires the USDA to update nutrition standards in schools.

Mission: Readiness believes having healthier food in the cafeteria and in vending machines will help slow - or even reverse - rising childhood obesity rates. And healthy children are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults who can serve their country.

"We’re not picking on the schools," Seip says. "The schools are part of the solution. We like to think that this obesity problem... is one that’s going to require all of America to tackle."


soundoff (679 Responses)
  1. JC

    Were the military leaders expecting to need more than 1 in 4 young men? Or was it that the military leaders themselves were too fat to fight. Or is the real problem the quality of military leadership, you know, where we pretend nothing is a problem, don't have any sense of direction, and tell the president whatever he wants to hear? Shoot, I figured with our major use of mercs... I mean private security, we could outsource the whole damned thing and be done with it, you know, like Obama decided to do at the embassies around the middle east.

    September 26, 2012 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • msos66

      2 yrs mandatory service in military/foreign service/peace corps. "Freedom is not Free", and college is too expensive anyway, so why not let our kids learn how the world works by actually seeing it. I don't love this idea, but just tossing it out as an alternative to the current system, which seems to be broken, at best.

      September 26, 2012 at 02:04 | Report abuse |
    • icurheinie

      It's YOU. You're too fat.

      September 26, 2012 at 02:45 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      @msos........Very bad idea. It is challenging enough to lead and teach those who have enlisted. Add the burden of those who do not wish to serve and you over burden leaders with dealing with the overwhelming number of "knuckelheads" that will swell our ranks.....Peace Corps. ok......military service...no...the values and ideas that filled young men's and women's hearts to volunteeer themselves for the "greater good" id no longer prevalent in today's society..........

      "just throwin it out there..." I am sure that you put a great deal of though into that......based on your 25 years of military experience and service...serving America's sons and daughters......oh wait, that's me....

      September 26, 2012 at 05:18 | Report abuse |
    • FloydZepp

      Have another McDonalds and a redbull....you'll feel better about yourself.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:18 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      @Frank, as a fellow veteran I am 100% in support of making it manadatory for individuals to do some sort of federal service albeit in the military or serving their government in other ways, such as helping their communities. The United States is one of the most spoiled nations on the planet and I am always amazed at how little people really volunteer and/or donate their time to help their communities. Maybe a 'behind the scenes' look at how the military and government operates will open their eyes.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:26 | Report abuse |
    • MrId

      Well unlike tinpot backwater Armies around the world, our Officers and NCO lead by example and lead from the front. Problem is that your kids ain't being taught by example and are mimicking Mom and Dad.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:49 | Report abuse |
    • Mark Hillyard

      I don't travel much and live in the Sierra Foothills. Recently I traveled to Washington State, by RV, to visit my grandchildren. Our plan was to eat at restaurants and Fast Food joints. I've read a lot on obesity over the years but this is the first time I've seen it and I was a bit shocked to see all the fatties at Mcdonalds etc. Men and women buying their early morning fix of this food. By the shear size of these people I'd say they make this a daily habbit. Also saw many fatties in the grocery stores and just about.
      I've always been skinny and food is more an after thought to me as I know I need to eat. These fatties must think about those Chicken Nuggets all night long in their dreams, I tried them and thought they tasted pretty good. But that ended after my vacation.
      To many fatties in my opinion. Just observing.

      September 26, 2012 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
  2. harbharb

    The first lady might be working with the military on this kid anti-obesity stuff.
    That's it! Working in concert with the military and government health care programs.
    And the neocons say she's anti-American. ... She's anti-flab!

    September 26, 2012 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. hammerofastraea

    Fat = bad. Plain and simple. And America is getting way too fat.

    September 26, 2012 at 01:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • msos66

      There should be a Fat Fee on the new health insurance thingy. I'd guess that 90% of fat peeps are that way by making poor food choices, and those peeps are costing more to care for health-wise. Annual check-up to measure body fat %, and the fatter you are the more you pay in Fat Fee. Fail to take annual gets you fine. Fitness rebate for anyone that can pass a fitness test. There are some that are bigger that can crush in the gym, so they should be credited. However, apple shaped is apple shaped and leads to health issues.

      September 26, 2012 at 02:14 | Report abuse |
    • nope

      Wrong. I eat very healthy food but I just eat too much of it. I rarely eat saturated fats and I watch the contents. It is easy to get fat by eating healthy food. Too many carbs isn't good for you but its not a poor food choice. Just poor moderation. I'm "overweight" according to your indexes but those things are whack anyway.

      September 26, 2012 at 05:08 | Report abuse |
  4. Chrisman

    for all of you that say that parents are the cause of fat kids i personally believe this is only partially true.....parents teach there kids bad eating habits and don't make them work out........but at the same time can't the kids take it upon themselves to better themselves? I mean i'm 16 years old and my family doesnt have the best eating habits but everynight i do 100 pushups and 100 situps so that i stay fit. I also run 3 to 4 times a week. So in reality kids need to wake up and realize what they are doing to themselves. they need to make themselves better

    September 26, 2012 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Daniel

    Though obesity is certainly a national challenge, it's not a problem for the military mostly because of the drawdown. Recruiters can be as picky as they need to be since willingness to join is on the rise and requirements for numbers are down. Additionally, the height/weight/tape and physical fitness standards have not gone down and the ability to chapter soldiers (kick them out) for being overweight or unfit is much easier now. An overweight soldier can be kicked out within 6 months from the time they are first determined overweight. Again, although obesity is a naitonal problem, it has no effect on military readiness other than the money wasted on training someone only to kick them out for becoming fat.

    September 26, 2012 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Wealter Newmanner

    Kids eat at school.

    September 26, 2012 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. jim111506

    Thanks, nigra Obama!

    September 26, 2012 at 01:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hotshot

      Clearly Obama's fault. There were almost no fat people before he came into office, but what he's done is force people to overeat just to spite him. What an awful President!

      September 26, 2012 at 05:56 | Report abuse |
    • Khalil

      You are some extremely comical people. You blame Obama for all the negative aspects within your life. What it is Obama's fault that your mentally incompetent too? Lol no lifes.

      September 26, 2012 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
    • rick

      wow, jim....how edgy and relevant.

      September 27, 2012 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
  8. helenecha

    One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military.

    Oh, don't kick them out of serving in military. Let them in if they agree with that, it is that they need to accept learning and training normally in the place where there will be no kitchen rooms and chefs but a market until they're not overweight.

    September 26, 2012 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrId

      So now I have to teach the little butter balls how to eat? *sigh*

      September 26, 2012 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
  9. jim111506

    What these fat slobs need is a good beating! No more food, fatty! Give me fifty, maggot! Thanks, nigra Obama!

    September 26, 2012 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. jim111506

    Americans are such filthy, retarded slobs. And they elected a filthy nigra!

    September 26, 2012 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      You are a pure racist. I finally began to believe that racism had really been tarnished within the United States. Obviously not. And the next time you have any racist comments to say don't say it behind the protection of your computer screen. How about you contemplate on that idea. I am fifteen, an African American, and I will forgive you.

      September 26, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
  11. jim111506

    Have you seen the size of that she-ape Michelle Obama's behind? She's one to talk. Filthy nigress!

    September 26, 2012 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rick

      jimbo: do the world a favor and eat the business end of your sidearm

      September 27, 2012 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
  12. Sick of Feeding the War Profiteers

    You have some crazy man shouting non-sequiturs about "Nigras" gets full air time, yet my civil post was buried. What gives there, CNN?

    September 26, 2012 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Superman2012

    Funny how barely 3 paragraphs of unsupported facts can get so many people picking sides and possibility starting witch hunts. I wish journalism was more than few short paragraphs but a call to action with supporting facts but those are few and require time and effort.

    September 26, 2012 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SRP

      Agree...poor excuse for reporting. quoted as saying "U.S. Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans.
      ".... SInce when are family members and venterans health (fat or otherwise) an indication out nations readiness. Shock and Aw by way of skewed statistics.

      September 26, 2012 at 02:34 | Report abuse |
  14. James

    The point is that we are an obese nation, and to those who say we don't need to draft that many people, it's just a measure to make sure that in the event of a global issue involving the United States we would be capable of pledging the same amount of soldiers old America was capable of drafting

    September 26, 2012 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jessica

    As time has gone on our food has gotten more and more processed and modified with who knows what and we have gotten heavier and heavier.

    The problem is in the food and in the super sizing of it.

    September 26, 2012 at 02:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anna

      That is exactly were the problem is – in the food, but too much money is being being made to address this issue. And because the food has no nutritional value anymore the population keeps eating, because the body keeps waiting for something it can recognize as actual food, not aspartame, food coloring, and numerous other junk that the body cannot translate. Think about it when you put a Lean Cusine or other prep lunch/dinner in the m/w half of the nutrition is taken by processing, the other half is taken by the microwave.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:15 | Report abuse |
  16. jk

    Meanwhile, enormous numbers of Americans proclaim that universal health care, which would greatly boost obesity awareness and prevention, is a threat to freedom.

    September 26, 2012 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hmmm...really

      Universal health care DOES NOT want to encourage people to live a healthier life style..no money in that!

      September 27, 2012 at 00:11 | Report abuse |
  17. Hawksmoor

    Let's be clear about something. Despite the conservative notion that there's no such thing as too many weapons or too much military spending, our weapons are not what ultimately keeps us safe. We are safe because of the global economic interdependence facilitated, in large part, by the Internet and cellular technology.

    If any potentially hostile country capable of actually striking us with a nuclear weapon (i.e. China, Russia, Pakistan; eventually, perhaps, North Korea and Iran too), they would essentially be screwing themselves. Never mind the inevitable retaliatory attack; let's assume the worst possible scenario (they team up and launch simultaneous nuclear attacks on us and wipe us out). Then what? The globalized economy completely disintegrates and the economic repercussions have a ripple effect that destroys the remaining countries' economies and society, sending them back to the stone age.

    Until we stop being the #1 consumers on the planet (by far, and of other countries' goods) they aren't going to attack us. It would be tantamount to economic suicide for them.

    September 26, 2012 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. lol

    oh boo hoo generals who get fat and wealthy on the corpses of poor young men who die in wars that are engineered only to benefit the military industrial complex and help their stocks soar.

    September 26, 2012 at 02:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      There just working-class filthy anyway. They're bred to fight and die for "their country." Die for me, dummy!

      September 26, 2012 at 04:38 | Report abuse |
  19. icurheinie

    I hereby declare war on fat people. That means you. If left unchecked you will literally run the rest of us into the poor house with your chronic health problems. Easily preventable health problems. So shut your pie hole and workout till you sweat every day. It is an easy way to make you feel better about yourself, and you will be contributing to society.

    September 26, 2012 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. HZ

    Did we even need 1 in 4 young man during ww2? why those military leaders think we need 1 in 4 young man now?

    September 26, 2012 at 03:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. michael

    Any country which is that fat is not eating too much or exercising too little. Something else is going on in their lifestyle. It amazes me that their FDA allows so many hormones and fillers into their live food supply (meats, fish, poultry and even vegetables) that serve only one purpose - grow larger food. And, yet the FDA refuses to believe that the animals (us) who eat the food that has been pumped full of hormones and chemicals to be made big won't also be made bigger themselves. I can only assume that one day this problem will be obvious in hindsight but for now too many companies are making millions, billions, possibly, from making food (and the people that eat them) larger.

    September 26, 2012 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. jim111506

    Fat people should be put into concentration camps and put on a strict 10-calorie-per-day diet.

    September 26, 2012 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • matt

      hahahaha i think 10 would be pushing it. I'll settle for 7 for those fatso tubs

      September 26, 2012 at 05:30 | Report abuse |
  23. Bob

    Not to worry. With the rest of the world getting ahead of us technologically and not having any reason to invade us since we've used up all of our resources, wars as we know them now will cease to exist except in the hearts and minds of those in the Pentagon and the Department of Defense. And since we will no longer be capable of raising an army (pardon the pun) they will have to amuse themselves by having virtual wars. Fortunately, there will be no shortage of plump young people who grew in a virtual reality to fill their ranks.

    September 26, 2012 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      Awesome! It will be just like a Terminator movie!

      September 26, 2012 at 04:52 | Report abuse |
  24. Man Tex

    UMmmmm .... some soldiers fight ... some sit behind consoles and direct unmanned drones and other electronic assets.

    How good of shape does one have to be in to play a video game with an armed predator drone????

    September 26, 2012 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Dave in Arizona

    As someone who's quite overweight, I agree. There's a serious problem. I'm not overweight due to environment–none of my family or friends were overweight as I grew up–it was just about education and the habits that were set after I got out of school and started to live my life. I actually, truly thought a meatball sub was healthy. And as a computer geek by hobby and trade, I get next to zero physical activity a day. That bad start set me on the path that lead me to where I am today.

    Interestingly, the past few days I've been considering joining a gym but I can barely afford membership fees.
    Maybe gym membership and nutritional education need to be introduced as options in health care insurance. Proper care of one's body goes a long way to preventing very expensive procedures down the road.

    September 26, 2012 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      If you consumed your own flesh, you'd lose weight twice as fast. Try it!

      September 26, 2012 at 05:11 | Report abuse |
    • pmclean1319

      Finally, a common sense answer. I also think that lifestyle is the biggest issue here. I've been skinny all my life but when I moved out of the house on my own suddenly I started gaining some weight because I personally have no opportunities during the day to exercise other than going to the gym. The thing is, going to the gym calls for willpower; it's something extra to do after your work is done. We don't have the natural opportunities for exercise that exists elsewhere in other countries. In many other slimmer countries, people can walk to work, or ride bicycles. In other countries, their culture revolves around picking up fresh food at a market and cooking it that day. In other countries, people don't have constant access to fatty fast foods or don't eat entire meals out of cans. These are all things that the people of those cultures just do, naturally.

      What I'm getting at here is that where other countries simply have a healthy way of life ingrained in their culture, we have a culture where being healthy requires extra effort on the part of the individual. We as a society need to find ways to make being healthy the path of least resistance.

      September 27, 2012 at 10:12 | Report abuse |
  26. Red Pison

    Stop polluting the food with growth hormones then. Idiots.

    September 26, 2012 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. C.J. Payne

    What do you expect? Big Business controls every sector of our society, so we end up with elementary schools full of soda / candy machines and below par nutrition in the cafeterias. We are bombarded with media ads for soda, candy, chips, ice cream, fast food on a daily basis. Even our military bases are typically served by fast food chains. USDA / FDA always words the regulations to suit Big Business anyway, so what do you expect? It comes down to individual habits and the discipline to just say NO.

    September 26, 2012 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. krehator

    Does not help when the female standards are a joke compared the males. A 46 year old male still has to out run and outperform a 17 year old female.

    ONE ARMY, ONE STANDARD!.

    September 26, 2012 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      It really wouldn't make much sense to have 'one standard' for PF tests that measure 'general fitness' indirectly, like timed runs, pushups, swim distances etc.. The average woman would have to be relatively much more 'fit' to achieve the same scores on those kind of exercises that I could as pretty much the average man, simply based on differences in how we are built. Check out marathon times etc and you will see that elite female athletes (far fitter than the average dude) can't compete with elite male athletes in the same event...not their fault. Now if you are talking 'job skills' type tests, like dragging a wounded dummy, passing ammo cans, marching with a full pack etc. that are directly related to field tasks then it makes sense to have one standard...but then EVERYONE who does that task would have to meet it regardless of age or gender. By saying "one army one standard" for the general fitness PF tests (when do you ever run two miles in shorts and sneakers or do pushups in combat?) you're really saying that as a man you don't want to have to work as hard to meet the standards as a woman would have to.

      September 26, 2012 at 22:01 | Report abuse |
  29. matt

    not gonna lie, just spent 7 years in the military, funny how 99% of dining options on base are mcdonalds, subway and burger king. Idiots

    September 26, 2012 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      All of the barracks have soda machines as well. That always disgusted me about the military while I was serving (I still think it's stupid). Endorsements pay the bills though, I imagine, so base commanders will keep allowing MWR (not sure what it's called for each service) to fill up the base with junk.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:40 | Report abuse |
  30. Kelly

    I am in the military and we are cutting waaaaay back on people. We are fine the way we are in fitness.

    We dont need the 1 in 4 adults who are obese.

    Terrible article

    September 26, 2012 at 05:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alicia

      I agree; another thing they need to look at is the amount of drug abuse (prescriptions for controlled items being given out like candy)

      September 26, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
  31. UsayWha?

    1 in 4 being too fat to serve is a big number when there is another 1 in 4 that cant serve because of criminal records, the other 1 1/2 out of 4 will never consider signing up or have some other reason on why they couldnt serve, so that leaves about 12-13 kids out of 100 that will actually serve or be eligible to serve. 25 kids out of 100 being too fat is a lot.

    September 26, 2012 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. jim111506

    We must re-enslave the nigra beast.

    September 26, 2012 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. edgyone

    SHUT YOU PIE HOLE, PILE!!! sorry, could not resist the Full metal jacket reference. Stop eating America, we will all be like the people in WAL-E soon.

    September 26, 2012 at 06:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      The nigra must return to a simple life of field work and nigra spirituals. The well-behaved nigra buck may be given watermelon on Sundays.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:25 | Report abuse |
  34. jim111506

    NIGRAS MUST FEAR THE LASH!

    September 26, 2012 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. jim111506

    The South shall rise again!

    September 26, 2012 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wildone

      ...when the dead rise from their graves.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:38 | Report abuse |
    • minx

      Jim,
      I understand your confusion, but let me clarify something for you.....this thread is about obesity. I am sure you can find the help you need under the Aggressive and Obnoxious Stupidity topic thread. If not, I am sure the nearest mental hospital would be interested in studying your issues.
      Thank you, have a nice day.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
  36. Wildone

    We want 'em nice and healthy so they'll look good when they're dead.

    September 26, 2012 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jim111506

      I don't like your tone, sir! I invite you onto the field of honor.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:38 | Report abuse |
    • Wildone

      You're just angry because you found out that your father is what you call a nigra and your mother is a two bit hore.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:40 | Report abuse |
    • jim111506

      Wildone is a sassy nigra! Your mammy should have taught you better, boy!

      September 26, 2012 at 06:44 | Report abuse |
    • Wildone

      Sounds like little Jimmy's momma got that "jungle fever" and goes for the "black snake".

      September 26, 2012 at 06:48 | Report abuse |
    • jim111506

      Wildone should be castrated to spare the world his insolent nigglets.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:51 | Report abuse |
    • Orly?

      Alright, back to your trailers, the both of you...

      September 26, 2012 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
  37. J75

    What I remember was not having video games, TV's, and no obligated chores to do growing up. But I did have to work hard cutting up wood for the winter, growing gardens , helping mom and dad with things around the house and every chance I could was not being stuck inside but outside , I enjoyed the time away from home when the work was complete for the day , but had to be home before the street lights came on. at these times I still stayed active playing ball in the local neiborhood. These are things that I believe kept myself running with a high metabolism through the years. Point being with my four kids today it is as if I'm pulling teeth to get them to do anything and just to get them to get outdoors I would literally have to cut the circut breaker off in the house, some where down the road something changed and I'm not sure where it did or why. It seems we became a softer, more sensitive way in life. I remember when I did wrong I got my tail tore up, today if we as parents do that we go to jail, so we have play a crazy time out or take things away. maybe times have changed but I know the only way to my head was through a good butt whoopin. It taught you right from wrong and gave you respect for others not to mention dicipline. Just wanted to throw my comment in there . Everyone take care........ Proud to be a U.S. Marine and serve this country and the people of it....... Semper- Fi

    September 26, 2012 at 07:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. sinsationalbulk

    BS...I have a belly but could run just as fast and do more push ups and sit ups than skinnier ppl but I was still booted cause of my waist. They cry about momey spent on ppl cause of health but I never caused them a dime on surgery or prescriptions for 11 yrs while other soldiers and family mbrs folders are sooo thick. Because of my waist I was kicked out spite being a better worker than a sorry sgt who couldnt hold one job only becuase ot the pt program.

    September 26, 2012 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom Cruisy

      Maybe you got booted because you can't spell.

      September 26, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
  39. MightyMoo

    I would argue that the free market isn't something beneficial to military service in this regard. People buy what they like and that tends to go to more fattier foods and entertainment where there isn't much physical activity involved. If that weren't true we wouldn'ht have the weight problem in this country we have today. I think toes are going to have to be stepped on to get people off their growing bottoms and moving again.

    September 26, 2012 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mark Hillyard

    I've picked up many bags of cement and it's a strain to move them. I'm also a skinny guy coming in at 160#. If the fat people were to somehow get the connection between hauling 60-90# sacks of concrete mix for a few hours then measure that up to what they carry in their butts all day long I think they'd get some type of reality check.

    Just go out there and buy one 60# sack and carry it all day and see if I'm right.

    September 26, 2012 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Graham

    Fat people are second class people that barely deserve to live.

    September 26, 2012 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Timmy

    "Who taught you how to do this stuff?"
    "From you, dad. I learned it from watching you!"

    September 26, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alicia

      I appreciate your honesty and self reflection, good for you

      September 26, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  43. Alicia

    What's worse is the amount of current military members who can't pass their annual/bi-annual fitness test- why not focus on that? Military members gain weight due to excessive eating at work during hours of boredom, have health problems (shocker!), and are chosen to protect our country in foreign wars. Anyone see a problem? Our tax dollars are going towards lazy, fat military members who can't meet basic standards.

    September 26, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tyler

      I agree with you 100%. There are some who meet or exceed the standard, and then there are some who just seem to fall through the cracks. Most military members get fat due to profiles, and a vast majority of the men and women acquired those profiles are due to combat. (ex. blown up, mortar, shot). Obviously not all of the fat service members have been in actual combat situations, but that's where I would expect the military services to distinguish those who are just fat to receive a paycheck and chapter them immediately.

      September 26, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
  44. Glenn

    Isn't this what led to the downfall of the Roman Empire?

    September 26, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. glenda

    We can't help it if our Armed Forces, are the best fed in the world. Soldiers in other countries, just wish they could eat as well, as US soldiers. They deserve it, considering how little they are paid, for the job they do.

    September 26, 2012 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Rachel

    This story has Michelle Sasquatch Obama's stink all over it. It's not bad enough that her idiot school food program is starving the kids...now she wants weak soldiers? Easier for her husband's fellow Muslim Brotherhood pals to pick off.

    September 26, 2012 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Mike

    All great empires collapse from inept leadership. And if they make everyone serve at least two years, prepare to deal with widespread protests and another 1960's. Plus, the army is too large, no need to police every damn country. Let the muslim world destroy itself, if they try anything stupid, the government should show a nuke poking out of the silo to silence those fools.

    September 26, 2012 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Marc de Piolenc

    They're living in a dream world if they think the campaign to upgrade school lunches is going to help. The fundamental problem is that Federal standards for diet are upside down – the "food pyramid" (which now has another euphemistic name that I don't remember) makes carbohydrates – you know, the stuff we used to call starch and sugar – the mainstay of the American diet. Children sent to school with box lunches packed by their parents and containing high-protein, low carb food have had their box lunches confiscated, and were then presented with... chicken nuggets as a "healthier" alternative. As long as the standards favor – nay, DEMAND – obesity, enforcing them is only going to make things worse, because the approved school lunches will be just as bad as the honestly labeled junk food in the vending machines. If the military want recruits who don't need four months of preliminary conditioning before even starting training, they will have to openly declare their opposition to the Carbohydrate Conspiracy and openly advocate real nutrition. Considering the post-McNamara politicization of the US military, I am not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

    September 26, 2012 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. penis forehead

    what if everyone had penises growing out of their foreheads and reaching around to their anus?

    September 27, 2012 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. vowelmovement

    CIA factbook

    people of military age in the US

    males age 16-49: 73,270,043 (.25) = 18,317,510

    females age 16-49: 71,941,969 (2010 est.)

    gee 1 in 4 fit to train – that leaves roughly 18,000,000 men – more than enough

    September 27, 2012 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
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