Obesity: Most American’s Too Heavy for the Military

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A terrible trend in recruiting is that many prospective recruits for the military are no longer qualified. Obesity is the main reason people are turned down for military service. Due to the growing number of children becoming obese and that leading to 17 to 24 year olds as obese, most Americans cannot serve in the military.

Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force recruiters have had to turn down more than three-fourths of new recruits due to obesity or one of many other reasons. Of course, during times of war, the military doesn’t look so much to the stringent regulations they use during times of peace. If there’s a need, the requirements become relaxed and more people qualify.

It’s common knowledge that the United States military now accepts openly-gay members and has been accepting women for quite some time now. They are also debating about accepting transgendered members, but it may not matter much if obesity continues to grow the way it’s growing.

Some predict that obesity will be so bad in the United States by 2020 that the military won’t be able to accept about 80% or more of the American population. Currently, about 71% of the population doesn’t qualify for one reason or another. A quick look at some of the typical requirements for the U.S. Army will explain why such a high number of people cannot get into the military.

Requirements for the United States Army

If you’re under the age of 17 or over the age of 34, you cannot get into the United States Army right now. You must also be a U.S. Citizen or a legal foreign national. Those without a high school diploma or GED cannot get in.

Maybe you’ve had some ink added to your body. If so, you cannot get in if those tattoos are on your fingers, face or neck. This also applies to those with ear gauges. Have you been convicted of a felony? Don’t count on getting into the military if you have, as they won’t take you.

Even those dependent on insulin for diabetes treatment or using ADHD medication cannot get in. In addition, you must score at least a 33 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test and you have to meet the height and weight requirements.

Obesity is the Main Reason

Even with these stringent requirements, the main reason the United States Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy recruiters turn away 8 out of 10 applicants is obesity. It has gotten bad enough that some believe obesity is a national security issue.

In fact, this news and studies showing the stats for obesity led to 550 retired admirals, generals and other senior members of the military forming what is called Mission: Readiness. This is an advocacy group trying to get lawmakers to make changes, such as:

• Expanding high-quality early childhood education programs
• Improving the quality and amount of Physical Education in schools
• Increasing the access to healthier foods at schools

The organization is a non-profit and is trying to do what they can to make a dent in the childhood and adult obesity rate plaguing this country.

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