Obesity: A United States Strategic Imperative
Civilian research project
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS WASHINGTON DC
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The prevalence of obesity within the United States is widely recognized as a leading cause of death, chronic disease and health care costs. In 2010, 35.7 of adults and 16.9 of children were obese, approximately 90 million Americans. The American Heart Association estimates medical costs from obesity in 2030 will be 861-957 billion dollars, or 16-18 of the United States health budget. However, this only scratches the surface of the total economic and strategic impact. The military, while predominantly affected in recruitment and retention, sees clear impacts on readiness, power projection, manpower utilization and resource allocation that will become increasingly important as budgets continue to decline. This manuscript reviews the effects of the growing problem of obesity in the United States and its impact on the military, Veteran and civilian populations, as well as, obesity s effect on the military, economic and diplomatic elements of national power. The imperative for and the benefits of addressing this epidemic are discussed, along with current programs and planning efforts. It concludes with recommendations for military, Veterans Affairs and civilian policy makers.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Military Forces and Organizations