Too Fat to Fight: Obesity Becomes National Security Issue

If the U.S. military needed to recruit substantial numbers of young men and women into their forces quickly, they would face a vexing obstacle: the chubby American. Moreover, military weight limits for women are stricter than for men in all of the forces, making it harder for women to get into the military and if they get in, to stay within weight limits without jeopardizing their health. At least 13 percent of young men and 17 percent of young women of prime recruitment age would fail the weight requirements of all four services, researchers at the University at Buffalo and The Johns Hopkins University have found. “This study shows that obesity is not just a public health issue, it’s a national security concern as well,” said Carlos Crespo, Dr. PH, study co-author and associate professor of social and preventive medicine at the University at Buffalo. “We’re not physically fit to defend ourselves.”