Lazy eyes listen
According to a recent survey, more than half of US active-duty service members are overweight or obese, according to the New York Post. Military chiefs told the US Congress in May that the Army, Navy, and Air Force will miss their recruitment targets this year due to a decreasing pool of qualified recruits.
The Washington Post’s Friday article relied mainly on a research produced last week by the non-profit American Security Project. The study, titled ‘Combating Military Obesity: Stigma’s Persistent Impact on Operational Readiness,’ says that “68% of active-duty service members are overweight or have obesity.”
Obesity rates among military members have more than doubled in the last decade, according to the report. According to the findings, high body fat is the main disqualification criteria.
According to the American Security Project, the trend poses a “dire threat” to national security by eroding the “strength and operability of the armed forces.”
“Identifying, diagnosing and treating obesity within soldiers at the front lines of our national defence may ultimately determine the long-term survival of the force,” the report stated.
To address this issue, the organisation suggests more frequent exams with a focus on service members’ BMI, as well as proactive counselling and medical advice.
According to Pentagon data obtained by the Stars and Stripes newspaper, less than a quarter of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are intellectually and physically qualified for military service.
Military.com revealed in June that the US special forces – the Green Berets – had failed to reach recruitment criteria for four of the previous five years due to a lack of qualified candidates.
After failing to recruit 15,000 military members, or 25% of the objective last year, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth advised Congress a month ago that enlistment would fall short again this year. The US Army Recruiting Command highlighted the tight labour market as one of the causes, as well as the fact that more than seven out of ten young Americans are disqualified for military duty owing to conditions such as obesity, drug usage, and mental illness.
According to Military.com, the US Air Force loosened its obesity restrictions in April, allowing male recruits to have up to 30 pounds.