The Balancing Act

Obesity Is A Matter Of National Security!

Article: Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation
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Fitness: A Matter Of National Security

The rate of obesity is rising so fast in the U.S. that more than half the population is expected to be obese by 2020. This trend is making it harder for the military to find qualified recruits. Lieutenant General Benjamin C. Freakley of the U.S. Army Accessions Command and Lisa Gable of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation discuss solutions to this potential threat to national security.

Obesity Is A Matter Of National Security!

Obesity is on the rise here in America, a trend that has drastically affected the health of our nation and increased the cost of medical care throughout the country. But did you know that it has also become a matter of national security? With more and more young people "unfit" to serve in our military forces, it is becoming harder and harder for the military to find qualified recruits. In fact, since 1995, there has been a 70% increase in the number of potential recruits who fail medical exams because of weight issues!

The military primarily focuses their recruiting energy on 17-24 year-olds, nearly a third of whom are currently unqualified for service because of their weight. Since the habits that lead to obesity begin at a very young age, the U.S. Army Accessions Command (USAAC) has teamed up with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) to promote fitness among young Americans. This historic partnership is the first time that a military organization has joined forces with the HWCF.

The cornerstone of the HWCF campaign is a concept that they call "energy balance." Teaching parents and kids that the total amount of "energy in" must equal "energy out" encourages them to be more aware of their daily diet and activity level. Children who learn positive habits at a young age are more likely to carry these skills with them as they grow up. Fit young adults will lead better lives and have the opportunity to lead our country's military forces as well.

Those who have a desire to enlist but are unable to qualify for service due to their weight are not turned away! The Army offers fitness programs that can help overweight recruits get "Army Strong," and many have successfully lost weight and achieved their dream of serving their country. One young recruit even lost 200 pounds in order to qualify for service! Together, the USAAC and the HWCF plan on conquering obesity and ensuring that our youth, our armed forces, and our nation remain healthy and strong.

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Newsletter article: Obesity Is A Matter Of National Security!

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