Friday, April 23, 2010

Childhood Obesity, a Threat to National Security

According to an April 20, 2010 press release, Mission Readiness, a non-profit group of more than 130 retired admirals, generals and other senior military leaders, released a report indicating that being overweight is now the leading medical reason recruits are rejected for military service. More than nine million young adults age 17 to 24 are too obese to qualify for military service. Entitled Too Fat to Fight, the report contains data analyzed by staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing a dramatic rise in obesity among young people since 1995. Alarmingly in the last ten years "the number of states with 40 percent or more of young adults considered to be overweight has risen from one state to 39 states." Since young people consume 40 percent of their daily calories at school, the group strongly supports efforts by Senator Lugar and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack for new legislation to improve school nutrition programs.