Fighting Obesity In The Military


Every year, on the 11th of November, Americans celebrate Veteran’s Day as a way to remember, honor and most of all thank all the brave men and women of the armed forces and their families for the hard times and sacrifices they have been through. But war is not the only problem the armed forces are facing at the moment — there is another fight — the fight to end the US obesity epidemic.

According to The Hill, more than one-third (or 74.6 million) of U.S. adults have obesity. Obesity is, in many respects, the “disease of disease,” as it is associated with—and a trigger for—more than 90 other chronic medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, and cancer. Unfortunately, the problem is not getting better; absent targeted efforts to curb this epidemic, some estimates show, 51 percent of the American population will have obesity in less than 15 years.

The obesity epidemic isn’t just a civilian issue. Members of our military forces and their families are grappling with this enemy that is waging a fight off the battlefield, and having a staggering effect on our nation’s ability to retain and recruit healthy servicemen and women. More than 12 percent of active-duty service members were struggling with obesity in 2011—a 61 percent increase in less than ten years. Increased incidence of obesity has led to heavier and less fit service members who are, among other things, more prone to injury and illness.


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