Overweight and Obesity Issues on Dramatic Rise in US Military

Posted: Oct 03, 2016 9:45 AM

As our government inflates, national budgets increase, and spending on foreign wars reaches nearly $6 trillion, a few U.S service members have found the time to put on a few extra pounds themselves at an alarming rate over the past five years.   

According to the Defense Health Agency's latest monthly report, overweight and obese service members rose 73 percent across all age groups in the past five years.  

Nearly 10 percent of the Defense Department's active-duty forces were overweight or obese in 2015.  In 2011, only 4.5 percent of the force was diagnosed as overweight or obese.

While older service members were mainly the cause for the spike in numbers, it is alarming that of the 20-24-year-old range, the number of obese personnel has nearly doubled in the past five years.  

The report says that because of an obese general population, the military is having to accept obese people into basic training.

"The increase in obesity in the general population has resulted in ... [an] increase in the number of applicants for military service who are overweight and obese and at risk of being deemed 'medically unfit for service,' " the report said.