Nearly 70% Of US Service Members Overweight Or Obese

In addition to President Joe Biden’s policies, which have included reducing the size of the Navy fleet and propping up the Ukrainian military at the expense of American security, there are other serious issues negatively impacting U.S. military readiness.

According to a new report compiled by the American Security Project, U.S. service members are overwhelmingly overweight or obese. Using body mass index, an imperfect but common measure of healthy weight, almost 70% of those currently serving in the military are overweight and nearly 22% hit the threshold for obesity.

The study determined that the number of obese service members has more than doubled over the past 10 years.

This troubling trend is a symptom of a larger societal issue plaguing military recruiters nationwide. Fewer than one-fourth of American citizens between 17 and 24 years of age meet the military’s physical and academic qualifications.

Faced with a shrinking pool of recruits and a widening gap between enlistment numbers and military goals, the Pentagon has been reducing its standards in recent years.

Last year, the Defense Department reduced the time period required for recruits with certain medical issues to remain free of symptoms before they are able to enlist without a waiver — and hundreds of individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder were allowed to join without a waiver throughout 2022.

The Navy is in particularly dire straits, as evidenced by its decision to increase the top recruiting age from 35 to 41, along with loosening a number of other requirements.

Brent Sadler, the Center for National Defense’s senior research fellow for naval warfare and advanced technology, determined that this trend “necessarily entails higher risk” for service members and the nation in general.

“It’s no secret why the Navy is lowering standards: Its recruitment program is in heavy seas,” he wrote. “The service failed to meet its 2020 recruiting goals. As a result, it has fewer people in training to serve in the fleet — and that fleet has a key role to play if the U.S. is [to] stay ahead of the fast-rising China threat.”

For its part, the American Security Policy offered additional recommendations, including improved medical care and oversight for obese service members.

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