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A growing national crisis
It is a well-known fact for the past 30 years obesity rates in the United States have skyrocketed. Obesity is not just affecting our adult population, but our children as well. Decreased outside activities, team sports, gym at school and poor nutrition have all impacted the health and physical conditioning of our youth.
The consequences are beginning to emerge in form of rising health care costs, decreased life expectancy, and an increased threat to our national security.
What does obesity have to do with national security? According to the Pentagon, 71% of American between the ages of 17 and 24 do not qualify for military service. Over 30% are disqualified because they are overweight or obese. This has led to a decline in number of young people joining the military as well as military personnel qualified for special forces.
If the trend is not reversed, the military will face an inevitable decision; to either lower the minimum standards for service, or be left with an inadequate number of soldiers to defend our country.
A Menacing Threat to Our National Security
The U.S. Army faces an imminent and menacing threat to our national security: The lack of fully qualified young people to serve in the military. Faced with these declining numbers, we have two choices: Lower the military admission standards or raise the health and education standards.
FORMER COMMANDING GENERAL, US ARMY TRAINING AND DOCTRINE COMMAND
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