Obesity shrinks military recruitment pool

The military is feeling the stress of the obesity epidemic, and is tackling the issue head on by incorporating nutritional education as part of their training programs. CBS has a feature article which provides detail/statistics on the topic:

Among 17- to 24-year-olds, 27 percent are too overweight for military service. Over the past 50 years, the number of women considered ineligible due to weight has tripled, and the number of men has doubled…”(It’s) not just a major health issue for our nation; it’s also become a national security issue.”

The military is teaming up with Michelle Obama to ramp up their nutrition education efforts. Plans are to reinforce nutritional education in schools as an efficient way to increase the next generation recruitment pool, and to promote the preventative mantra of healthy habits beginning at a young age.

A problem mentioned in the CBS video is that some Americans know what to eat but lack access to healthy foods like fresh vegetables. A suggested solution: give the same subsidies for fruits and vegetables as corn, cereal etc. This distressing fact clashes with an announcement in the Huffington Post that congress may be cutting $5B from The Prevention and Public Health Fund. This fund is supposed to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases associated with obesity.

But for now, it is refreshing to hear about recent efforts to curb obesity in some schools. Let’s hope this trend picks up in more schools nationwide. Also inspirational: a US soldier lost weight to serve her country in 2010!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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