If you wanted to know just how bad America’s obesity epidemic has gotten, look no further than a just-released report that found 70 percent of American youth do not qualify for military service, mostly because they are too fat to fight.
The report, “14th Annual State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” notes that while obesity rates and the growth of obesity are both leveling off, the costs are not. The nation spends about $150 billion a year in direct costs, while the economy loses billions more per year in diminished worker productivity.
It is also costly to the military, said the report. Nearly one-quarter of military recruits are rejected because they are obese and it costs the Pentagon $1 billion a year in added health care costs for obese troops and their families.
The report also contains this stunning statistic: “70 percent of today’s youth are not fit to serve in the military due to obesity or being overweight, criminal records, drug misuse or educational deficits.”
In other words, the vast majority of our young people are too fat, too drugged out, or too stupid to defend the country.
This isn’t good, folks.
The report is chock full of graphics and statistics that indicate the epidemic is reaching new heights. It also breaks down where the epidemic is the worst; West Virginia is at the top, with 37.2 percent of its residents listed as obese, compared with Colorado at the bottom with a 22 percent obesity rate.
— Nine of the 11 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South; 23 of the 25 states with the highest rates are in the South and Midwest. As a side note, about 44 percent of the military’s recruits come from the South, even though the region has only 36 percent of the country’s 18-24-year-old civilian population. The least represented? The deep blue Northeast.
— Obesity rates in adults have glaring racial and ethnic overrepresentation; rates are above 40 percent for blacks in 15 states, and at or above 35 percent for Hispanics in nine states. That compares with rates above 35 percent for whites in one state only.
— Rates of obesity are about 30 percent higher for adults without a college education and with incomes below $15,000, compared to other adult demographics. Since nearly everyone in this demographic is on some form of taxpayer-supported government assistance, this tells me that federal welfare and food supplement programs are emphasizing or enabling bad eating habits instead of good ones and, in fact, are making the nation’s taxpayer-supported health care programs more expensive, given that obesity causes so many health problems.
— There is obesity in the military, by the way. In fact, obese service members and members of their families cost the Pentagon some $1 billion annually in costs and lost productivity.
“Obesity threatens our military readiness, as well as the number of individuals capable of serving as first responders, firefighters, and police officers,” the report said. “In fact, being overweight or obese is the leading cause of medical disqualifications, with 23 percent of armed service applicants rejected because of excessive weight or body fat. Mission Readiness — a group consisting of retired admirals and generals — has warned that the obesity crisis threatens the future strength of our military.” (Related: Readiness problem: 70 percent of American youth NOT FIT to serve in military.)
No doubt about it, our country is much more vulnerable to invasion — from outside and from domestic terrorist factions within — because of the obesity epidemic.
In case you haven’t done so yet, now’s a perfect opportunity to download my latest e-book, “Fit to Fight: A Prepper’s Guide to Extreme Fitness.” It’s free, and it’s full of useful information and all kinds of extreme fitness workouts that I have done for years now to stay fit enough to defend myself, my family, my community and my country, if need be.
Our country is at risk thanks to obesity. Unless more Americans step up and commit to being fit, we very well could lose the next big fight we get into. And I, for one, don’t want to live under someone else’s rule.