Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Lady: Obesity a Threat to National Security

In a White House program, First Lady Michelle Obama said childhood obesity is a threat to national security.
At a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the launch of the ‘Let’s Move’ campaign to end childhood obesity in the United States, an epidemic she said is costly and a threat to national security.

“A recent study put the health care cost of obesity-related diseases at $147 billion a year,” Mrs. Obama said. “This epidemic also impacts the nation’s security, as obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service.”
Yes. gross obesity is a disqualifier for military service, but the military boot camps do tend to get someone in shape through regular exercise and training. So even if someone is a little overweight, the military will take them in and they will usually lose the weight.

But what are we talking about. According the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity tripled in the past thirty years:
The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.
So, from 1 in 20 kids to 1 in 5 kids or thereabout is a serious problem, I will agree. But a threat to national security? Seems to me like 4 out of 5 people would still be eligible for military service or at least not be disqualified for being obese. A threat to national security would have to mean that the only people volunteering for the military would be obese young people--who, honestly, probably aren't looking at the military as a career.

No comments: