Obesity: A National Security Concern
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
The average weight and body fat of Americans has been steadily increasing for several years, especially among children. To compensate, the Army altered the entrance requirements, allowing individuals previously considered overweight to enlist. This effectively moved responsibility for weight loss from the recruit to the Army, adding a new dimension to ensuring the health and welfare of these Soldiers as they work to meet Army standards. The increased weight and body fat has the potential to negatively impact the Army s ability to provide ready forces, not only through decreased physical fitness, buy also through increases in other health concerns such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Since obesity is a continuing, if not worsening, trend these changes may be insufficient to insure adequate personnel strength numbers without lowering the bar again by relaxing the standards required for active duty Soldiers. This paper examines the impacts of the obesity issues plaguing America s youth on readiness as overweight individuals enter the Army. It also reviews policy actions taken by the Army to improve recruitment and retention rates, and the impacts from these actions on the health and readiness of the Army Soldier.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies