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. lprimo

    My young nephew was recently booted from the air force for a waist that was 1/2inch too big. He had trouble with his weight all of his life but was determined to serve his country just like his deceased father had done during Vietnam war. After boot camp and further training it was decided that his waist was too big by standards. He was ashamed and humiliated that he was about to be kicked out. Afraid to even come home and have his large family know his fate. I am proud to say that he decided to come home to a family who loves him and respects him. He VOLUNTEERED to be in the armed service when many will not. He had a job as a chef in a local restaurant and gave up the job he loved to join. I told him how proud his family would be of him regardless of his size because he was unselfish enough to serve this country. When he was discharged he had to sit in front of a higher ranked female officer who weighed in at over 300 pounds. It was all he could do to keep from reminding her of her own problem. I am glad to say he overcame his "shame" and his anger and came home a changed young man who is no longer ashamed to have had the service turn their back on him.

    September 28, 2012 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SBTA

      At then end of the day not every person is fit for military service. The Armed Forces have high standards for a reason; it is a profession of arms. The Air Force doesn't "boot" people for having a waist that is a 1/2 inch too big. Waist measurement is only one component of the fitness test. It is fantastic that there are so many people willing to voluntarily serve their country, but there are still standards that need to be met in order to ensure soldiers and airmen etc. are fit both mentally and physically to handle the day to day expectations of military service. I see Officers and Enlisted get relieved often for not meeting fitness standards and have definitely never seen or heard of a 300 lb Officer in the Air Force. Fitness is a key part of being in the military. Should everyone that VOLUNTEERS be handed a weapon and be put in a position to protect the lives of others? If anything the military should be MORE stringent on who it allows in.

      September 28, 2012 at 10:28 | Report abuse |
  2. unomeasc

    I wish they would lower the prices of healthy foods and have them more available for our kids and us adults when it comes to trying to eat healthy and in a hurry with not much time to stop and eat. Doctors push "eat healthy" but the prices to do that is crazy.
    All I can say is do the best you can with our kids and pray they grow healthy and strong. As for our military I thank each and every one of them for what they do no matter what their size and pray for them each day., I was also a military mom.. God Bless you all

    September 29, 2012 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Dhoben

    Do you realize that the the female soldier in the center of the photo exceeds the standards on the Army Physical Fitness Test, runs marathons, and has a BMI of less than 20??? Maybe you should have used a better photo to prove your point rather than plaster the face of a physically fit & athletic soldier who is in better shape than most people!!

    September 30, 2012 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • troll

      sounds like a personal problem and cool story bro but it needs more food and do you even lift bro

      March 7, 2013 at 02:29 | Report abuse |
  4. luyen thi

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I to find It really helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to provide something again and aid others like you aided me.

    September 30, 2012 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. David Sanders

    The heart of the matter is particiating in a activity like pyhical excises is apart of being graded then you must handle it like so. Otherwise it's like you not taking it suriously and you jeapardise unit.

    October 1, 2012 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. HARD

    GYSGT Haartmann would get their fat asses in shape. Just as he did Private Pyle.

    October 2, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Lizi


    I don’t know if you know that Slimming World has come to the USA & Canada – it’s changed my life so much – and I know it can change so many others’ lives too. Please share the link below with anyone who might need some additional support to lose weight. Slimming World is the UK's no.1 weight loss organisation for a reason, it literally saves 1000's of lives each year.


    It really is amazing! The website is packed with great recipes, menus, food, and healthy living features to help you lose weight (how much is up to you!) without ever going hungry and without giving up your favorite foods. You can record each day's meals, log your exercise, and build up to awards, celebrate your weight losses, and get online help and support when you need it most.

    I think they have a special offer on in October for everyone is the USA and Canada – 4 months online membership for $40.00.It's the only weight loss programme that has ever worked for me and it fits in perfectly with my busy lifestyle.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Melba Voneye

    This is so completely backwards! So, we should make sure that our kids are healthy so they can die in some useless war. If we overfeed our kids and make them fat, they will live to be at least 30 or 40 then die of a heart attack. If the republicans win, just buy pizza a lot and you will be ok, then when the democrates win you can let them lose the weight again!

    October 11, 2012 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • K.Frederickson

      Look, this article is about military readiness. Please don't be naive and deny another world war as a possibility. If our borders are ever threatened, or an aggressive superpower rises in another part of the world, we will need a draft. How is a 300lb man going to run and gun when required by his country? Don't mistake these police actions for full scale war. We live in peace at home because of our soldiers abroad. "Useless war", who the hell do you think you are?

      October 12, 2012 at 07:45 | Report abuse |
  9. Brandon

    I'm prior military, and this article is a load of nonsense. The military was (maybe still is) going through a phase of cutting down numbers and they were looking for ways of pushing people out during the recession. They've been using archaic methods of measuring body composition in order to force people out prior to retirement. My boss at the time was in 12 years and was in perfect health and got great marks on his Physical fitness tests, they pushed him out of the service because his neck was thick and it threw of body composition tests.

    The military is getting smaller, and they are using "obesity" as a way of pushing out people in a bad job market.

    October 14, 2012 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cn

      The military is not using weight to reduce force size, that is nonsense. The physical fitness tests are designed to be flexible within each component as long as the member meets certain minimums across the board. And for those being recruited: why should the military recruit someone who is unfit? They likely aren't capable of performing to high physical demands or mental stressors. Furthermore, excess weight causes chronic medical problems that the tax payers have to pay the tab on.

      October 15, 2012 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
  10. Jerry

    Wow, I was shocked to hear that one in four americans applying to join the military are not accepted due to obesity – Alarming. For a country at the forefront of space exploration you think they would have a handle on healthy living.

    October 15, 2012 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Alexis

    CN – Yes they ARE! I'm a military wife and I have been TOLD BY HIGHER UPS that they are using messed up weigh and tapes to kick people out. Straight from my husbands C.O's mouth...They said that the minute a soldier is flagged even for 1% over they try to get him out. Other soldiers are getting in trouble for trying to keep good men in that are not overweight at all but due to having a small neck don't fit the requirements. Plus they feed them MRE's while they're out in the field...do you know how many calories are in those? Then if they're drivers they just sit there so they don't work off the calories...the army is jacked up and it's screwing over soldiers who WANT to be in the military....so sad.

    November 28, 2012 at 05:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. hainaica

    This is the http://nskincream.com – nu skin day time right up until 1996 that's while he took over as Ceo. nuskin usa Para nosotros ser n't privilegio trabajar contigo, y ensearte lo http://nskincream.com the disease fighting capability, aids digestive system, exercises your skin layer, tones muscle groups, reduces cellulite, and gives skin color sparkling, smooth and velvety.

    January 25, 2013 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. troll

    "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." im sorry who is keeping you alive everyday!!!!

    March 7, 2013 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Shad Camino

    Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any method you may take away me from that service? Thanks!


    October 13, 2013 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Brown

    Excellent task with this write up! Thank you a great deal.
    Brown http://wiki.nukelearn.com/index.php/How_In_order_to_Fix_A_new_Car_Head_Unit_Which_won't_Switch_on

    November 8, 2013 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Korean Fashion

    Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback! I truly appreciate it.


    January 21, 2014 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Josette Canup

    Hello would you mind letting


    February 20, 2016 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. neprelesse

    Also, he put in a TVX, whatever that is. Air Conditioner Compressor Repair The second time the pan is small and needs to be emptied more often, is all.

    Is it a fair price? Air Conditioning Repair Costs Motors are designed now to run at a consistent CFM regardless of the power draw.

    Kia Recalls Niro for Power Steering. Controls Touchpads with large LED displays, sizeable and uncrowded buttons, clear labeling, and digital temperature readouts are easier to use. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEcyT6at_KTzM0udnoZEaqSYUe7ouncV0 Multiply the room length by the room width in feet to get the square footage of the area to be cooled..

    December 2, 2017 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. best face mask

    This is relevant knowledge for my subscribers, so I'll share this post and you should likely get some extra subscribers. It's better than anything else out there discussing this subject. Thanks for the fresh viewpoint!


    November 27, 2020 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. buy n95 masks

    I honor the logic in this article, but I would like to read extra detail from you in time.


    November 27, 2020 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. n95 mask

    I can think of extra points that add weight to this. Should I go ahead?


    November 29, 2020 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. buy face masks

    I get what you're saying, but I want some detail. Is it ok if we talk via email?


    December 2, 2020 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. n95 face masks

    I'm not butting in.. however are you right regarding this? It maybe a bit redundant and I'm worried for you :/


    December 2, 2020 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 720p izle

    Zufaellig bin ich auf eurem Portal gelandet und muss feststellen, dass mir diese vom Design und den Informationen richtig gut gefaellt. Simone Raviv Bortz

    December 9, 2020 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 720p izle

    Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our website. Keep up the great writing. Romonda Etan Orran

    December 9, 2020 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Vera

    I contacted him for marriage help, He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,24 hours later,My Ex Husband called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me and the kids before now and one week after my Husband called me to be pleading for forgiveness, I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Robinson Buckler on his personal email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..He also cure herpes, Contact him for herpes cure too direct on: Robinsonbucler @{{gmail.}} com.https://robinbuckler. com....💕”💕”

    December 10, 2020 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. face mask

    Hey this post honestly made me think! TY-I hadn't considered things this way otherwise.


    December 12, 2020 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. best face mask

    This is the best piece I have seen, when everyone else addressing this won't stray from the standard doggerel. You have a great writing style, and I shall follow you as I like your posts.


    December 12, 2020 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Lanie Lavalais

    I just added this blog to my google reader, great stuff. Can not get enough!


    December 20, 2020 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Colin Obar

    Más información sobre Mecanizados De Precision Inde Sociedad Limitada. Somos una empresa joven, pero con más de 30 años de experiencia en el sector de los mecanizados. En cada pieza con cierta complejidad hay detrás habilidades de mecanizado de precisión, desde las hechas con aleaciones de aluminio para la fabricación de aviones hasta instrumental médico de todo tipo las partes de un automóvil.


    December 21, 2020 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. vreyro linomit

    I am continually browsing online for ideas that can facilitate me. Thanks!


    December 23, 2020 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. vreyrolinomit

    I just could not depart your web site before suggesting that I extremely loved the usual info a person provide for your visitors? Is going to be again often in order to investigate cross-check new posts.


    December 24, 2020 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. vreyro linomit

    Everything is very open and very clear explanation of issues. was truly information. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing.


    December 24, 2020 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Leif Ingala

    I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very web savvy so I'm not 100 positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos


    December 24, 2020 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Devona Bethune

    I believe one of your advertisings caused my browser to resize, you might want to put that on your blacklist.


    December 26, 2020 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Timothy Kenworthy

    My persistence is unreal and I have considerably more energy. I have a look at my sister Sarah and she’s an utter success story also; she stays in just as very good shape and she also still uses yoga burn. There’s just so much value here, I felt I had to communicate my story and with any luck you can have as much if not better success, best wishes on your amazing journey! See the link


    December 27, 2020 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Tuan Brooker

    Have you considered yoga exercises for losing weight..? Yoga burn is convenient to do from your home and get real results without those expensive yoga lessons.


    December 27, 2020 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Catharine Boadway

    My perseverance is unreal and therefore I have more and more energy. I think about my sister Joan and she’s a great success story also; she is still in just as smashing shape and she also still uses yoga burn. There’s absolutely so much value here, I felt I had to reveal my story and with any luck you will enjoy as much if not superior success, best of luck to you on your personal journey! Look at the link


    December 28, 2020 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Maria Fornili

    I find it so easy to follow along as it was handy that I am able to use it on my laptop or computer, smart phone or for tablet. The ebook format causes it to be really easy as well as fast to reference everything. More information listed here: https://goo.gl/1z31Zh


    December 28, 2020 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Ronni Savely

    Since the foods we consume could never supply All the vitamins, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients we all now know are necessary to your best health during pregnancy, perimenopause and beyond, nutritional supplements are vital. While phyto-estrogens are the most important nutritional supplements for women, especially when ovarian estrogens are lost, the following other supplements may also be vital: minerals and vitamins, essential fatty acids, herbs, probiotics and digestive enzymes. Menopause can be a Very frustrating and confusing time in a female's lifestyle. While we celebrate the cessation of our menstrual cycles, the symptoms that come along with this natural and ordinary life change arisothing short of undesirable. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleeplessness, depression and stress, are a few of the most common symptoms associated with the menopausal procedure. Throughout A lady's life cycle, great general health depends more and more on a planned health program with various key components. Including but not Limited to: http://jtayl.me/4nvkv


    December 29, 2020 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. vreyrolinomit

    You have noted very interesting details ! ps decent site.


    December 31, 2020 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. vreyrolinomit

    I don't normally comment but I gotta state appreciate it for the post on this great one : D.


    December 31, 2020 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Fidel Downhour

    Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extremely marvellous chance to read articles and blog posts from here. It can be very cool plus full of fun for me and my office friends to visit your website no less than 3 times per week to read through the latest issues you will have. And lastly, we're certainly astounded for the wonderful pointers you give. Certain 4 facts in this post are in fact the most beneficial we've ever had.


    December 31, 2020 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. vreyro linomit

    Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it's driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.


    January 1, 2021 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Myron Pedez

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!


    January 1, 2021 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. blackjack

    Best view i have ever seen !


    January 2, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Ardelia Damian

    I agree with your points, superb post.


    January 3, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Ayanna Schmiot

    The subject now is high-value to foods. Certain nutrients are extremely easy to get, and some are very difficult. Probably from all of the nourishment, the hardest is vitamin d. it is near impossible to find the vitamin and that you need from foods. That is precisely why we have sun. One of the easiest vitamins to do would be probably vitamin k1, maybe not k2 but vitamin k1 with anti-clotting factors. I would say b6 is pretty easy to reach as it is in so many diverse foods, but the challenge is a must for potassium so high we need 4 700 mg. That is just another one's difficult to get unless you are consuming many veggies. Minimally seven cups. Now you can get potassium from beans, which usually means you want to integrate all of your foods to find out your potassium levels. Magnesium is another one that lots of people are deficient in, however you will receive magnesium if you consume enough vegetables. Magnesium is another mineral that a lot of individuals are deficient in, and it's a vital mineral to work as a cofactor for a good deal of distinct chemical reactions within the body. http://www.congreso-hidalgo.gob.mx/urls/43x


    January 4, 2021 at 05:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. face mask

    Yes, yes, yes- society have an obligation not to take this for granted problem any longer. How to proceed?


    January 6, 2021 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. best face mask

    This sounds rather myopic...imho...


    January 6, 2021 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Leave a Reply to n95 face masks


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.