A Shocking 70% Of US Soldiers Now Overweight

As “preparedness” goes, a new report does not bode well for the U.S. military. A new study showed that almost seven out of 10 American service members are categorized as either overweight or obese.

The nonprofit American Security Project used the Body Mass Index (BMI) definition in its study. Obviously, this disturbing result has serious implications on the state of readiness for the American armed forces as the world becomes increasingly violent.

The number of troops rated as obese more than doubled in just a decade. That total was 10.4% in 2012, but in 2022 it reached 21.6% of the military.

The study’s authors noted that the Pentagon desperately needs to address this alarming health issue within its ranks. It recommended calling for strengthened body composition standards and enacted policies with evidence-based recommendations.

There are also major drawbacks regarding obesity and military recruitment.

Stars and Stripes reported the Pentagon determined less than 25% of Americans aged 17 to 24 are qualified for the military both academically and physically. This means the pool for potential troops dried up dramatically in recent years.

In no uncertain terms, the report called the findings a “dire threat” to national security.

It concluded, “To ensure the long-term strength and operability of the armed forces, services must decisively and cohesively address obesity within their ranks.”

It ominously added that addressing obesity among service members “may ultimately determine the long-term survival of the force.”

The American Security Project further recommended the Department of Defense shelve its program allowing brass to exempt obese troops. However, a possible crackdown on unhealthy recruits could have a dramatic effect on reaching goals that are already lagging.

The House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee already heard from military brass that the Army, Navy and Air Force will not reach enlistment goals in 2023.

Last year, the Army missed its target by around 15,000 soldiers, or 25%. Roll Call reported the branch fared better in fiscal year 2023, drawing almost 55,000 enlistments.

The Navy and Air Force fell further short this year. The Navy missed its mark by 7,450 new recruits while the Air Force recruited 2,700 fewer members than it set out to enlist.