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Report: Obesity Poses Risk to National Security

a midsection look at a morbidly obese woman
(Clara Molden/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:05 PM

Thirty-one percent of youth in the United States are disqualified from military service due to obesity, and the epidemic is now "posing a threat to our nation's security as well," says the law enforcement nonprofit Council for Strong America's "Mission: Readiness" project.  

"Obesity has long threatened our nation's health," a report by the council reads. "As the epidemic grows, obesity is posing a threat to our nation's security as well. These ineligibility rates are a major reason why the Army (the military's largest branch) was not on track to meet its annual recruitment goals as of September 2018."

Obesity is one of the largest medical disqualifiers in the military, and the report found 71 percent of youth between the ages of 17 and 24 would not meet the military's core eligibility requirements. One reason: people who are overweight are more susceptible to injuries, per a study conducted by The Citadel, says the report. Also, obesity and related issues incur considerable financial costs.

"Each year, the Department of Defense spends $1.5 billion on healthcare related to obesity for active duty and former service members and their families," per the report. "Musculoskeletal injuries among Army soldiers cause half of all disabilities, resulting in $125 million in compensation each year. Additionally, active duty service members miss over 650,000 work days annually due to obesity-related issues, placing added strain on a force that is already stretched thin."

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According to the law enforcement nonprofit Council for Strong America's "Mission: Readiness" project, 31 percent of youth in the United States are disqualified from military service due to obesity, and the epidemic is now "posing a threat to our nation's security."
military, readiness, national security, health insurance
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2018-05-17
Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:05 PM
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