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By J.D. Heyes | Natural News
The United States literally has a “growing” national security problem, and it one that has been trending negatively for years: Namely, a growing percentage of American youth are, to put it bluntly, too fat to fight.
According to a new report issued recently by a conglomerate of former and retired military leaders, America’s obesity epidemic is causing severe recruiting problems because one-in-three young adults do not meet weight requirements.
As reported by UK’s Daily Mail:
The nonprofit, non-partisan group called Mission: Readiness (Military Leaders for Kids) is promoting healthy school lunches in Kansas and across the nation as a way to combat the problem. In Kansas, 29 percent of teenagers are overweight, according to figures it cites from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About a third of American children and teens are considered obese or overweight.
But it’s not just in Kansas; the country’s youth weight problem is nationwide.
“We think a more healthy lifestyle over the long term will have significant impacts on both the military posture — those available to get into the military — and across our society as a whole from a medical perspective,” retired Brigadier Gen. John Schmader told the Daily Mail ahead of the report’s release.
Obesity happens to be one of the primary causes of military ineligibility among young adults ages 17 to 24, says the report.
Shrinking pool of recruits harms national security
But as the Pentagon has noted in prior findings, other issues such as the proliferation of inappropriate tattoos, criminal history and lack of education also rank high as disqualifiers for military service.
Combined, said the group in its report, that means a staggering 71 percent of Kansans are not eligible for military service.
As reported by Newsmax:
The major problem is obesity, reports military recruiters. But young adults are also being turned away because they lack high school diplomas, have felony convictions, and are on prescription drugs for ailments such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
In addition, potential recruits are being turned away because of extreme piercings, such as ear gauges that create large holes in people’s earlobes.
The report noted that the military has witnessed a staggering 61 percent rise in the rates of obesity since 2002 among its own active duty force. The rise in body fat percentages mean higher health care costs for a military already struggling to make ends meet because of sequester-related budget cuts.
Gen. Allen Batschelet, commanding general of U.S. Army Recruiting Command, said last year that the services are also having difficulty attracting youths who are even interested in serving. He said only about 1 percent of young people are both “eligible and inclined to have a conversation with us.”
“We have not adopted a zero-defect mentality. We evaluate each applicant from a
whole-person perspective,” Defense Department spokesman Nathan Christensen said in 2014.
‘They need to prioritize this’
But there are standards that simply have to be met in order to produce quality soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines – men and women who can accept the challenge of military service and perform well under major duress. That requires a combination of physical fitness and intelligence.
Today, many potential recruits “aren’t educationally qualified to join the military in any capacity, not just the high-tech jobs,” retired Maj. Gen. Allen Youngman told The Wall Street Journal.
Of the problems the Pentagon faces in keeping the ranks filled, he added: “We’re trying to make decision makers see this is a national-security matter — and they need to prioritize it.”
The problems of filling the ranks may subside somewhat in the short term, as the Obama administration makes major reductions of thousands of active duty troops from the services. But should a national emergency arise, the Defense Department would have difficulty meeting recruitment goals; even if a draft were implemented, which is an extreme measure, the quality of men and women being inducted would be far less than what the military branches are accustomed to.
That means the nation, overall, is less able to defense itself, and that’s a big problem.
If we are too fat to fight, then what is next? Military Robots? Find all the breaking news on what may be on the horizon at MilitaryRobots.news
This article originally appeared on Natural News.