According to new research, obesity has become a serious issue affecting the U.S. military.
The research, which covered the period between February 2019 to June 2021, found that over 10,000 troops suffer from obesity. The research covered most of the pandemic period. Several reasons are associated with this discovery, but the lockdown and restricted movements that characterized the pandemic top the list.
Obesity in US military surged during pandemic, nearly 10,000 Army soldiers obese, report | Just The News https://t.co/qfuq6vOnTr
— DSP (@DonnaPence5) April 3, 2023
For many, their computers and mobile phones became their best companions, and while they gathered followers, their body mass increased.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Murillo, a victim of obesity, talked about how endless hours on his laptop and heightened stress led him to unhealthy eating habits for military personnel.
Closed gyms and the absence of organized exercises, combined with Murillo’s lack of motivation to work out independently, affected his physical condition. Murillo, now on his way back to fitness, recalled what he went through, saying the changes were noticeable and his uniform was tighter.
The military now fights on how to bring its forces back to fitness, with the Marines and Navy having the highest obesity rate. Members suffering from the condition are vulnerable to fatigue and injuries and may be unable to discharge their duties.
Tracey Perez Koehlmoos, the director of the Bethesda, Maryland center, believes it is crucial to get the troops back in shape with almost a quarter obese.
“The Army and the other services need to focus on bringing the forces back to fitness,” Koehlmoos noted in his comment.
Overweight troops are more likely to be injured, less likely to endure the physical demands of their profession. The military loses more than 650k workdays/year b/c of extra weight & obesity-related health costs exceed $1.5B annually.
Ok to discuss yet? https://t.co/vYkRKPQr9y
— Jennifer Sey (@JenniferSey) April 2, 2023
According to Just the News report, the Army failed to meet its recruiting goal for the first time in the last year, falling short by 15,000 recruits, or a quarter of the requirement.
Beyond the military, the obesity problem is common to Americans, and the U.S. ranks as the 12th most obese country globally.
Oh no….Almost 80 Percent of Americans Aged 17–24 Unfit for Military Service
Food assistance contributing to obesity. pic.twitter.com/51Mj0iHR3S
— SparksN123 (@SparksN123) February 28, 2023
A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reveals that more than 2 in 5 adults are obese, and nearly 1 in 5 children are obese. Additionally, 19 states in America have obesity rates over 35% which increased from 16 states in 2022.