The nation’s armed forces is slimming down — literally. With the wars in the Middle East coming to a close and the military looking to save funds, troops are being cut from the Army, with a leading cause for discharge being obesity.
Based on reports from The Washington Post, the Army has discharged a total of 1,625 soldiers for obesity this year alone, which is 16 times more than the amount discarded five years ago. According to The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, the number of overweight soldiers on active duty has tripled between 1998 and 2010, with the number of out-of-shape troops reaching 86,000 by 2012. This reflects the overall increase in obesity in the American population.
Army Secretary John M. McHugh told The Post: “We will use the drawdown as an opportunity to shape out Army by ensuring that we retain only the best soldiers.” And Commander Leslie Hull-Ryde, a spokesperson for the Pentagon agrees.
“A healthy and fit force is essential to national security,” she said. –Iyana Robertson