(HealthDay News) — One-third of young adults in the United States are too overweight to be in the military, according to a report from a group of retired military leaders.
The document was released Wednesday by Mission: Readiness (Military Leaders for Kids), a nonprofit, non-partisan group that is promoting healthy school lunches as a way to tackle the problem of obesity among young Americans, the Associated Press reported.
Obesity is one of the main reasons why people aged 17 to 24 years are deemed ineligible for the military. Other reasons include too little education, drug use or a criminal history.
“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 AP.
Since 2002, there has been a 61% rise in obesity among the U.S. military’s active duty forces, resulting in higher costs for obesity-related health care and replacement of unfit personnel, according to the report.