The nation’s obesity epidemic is causing significant recruiting problems for the military, with one in three young adults nationwide too fat to enlist, according to report issued Wednesday by a group of retired military leaders.
The nonprofit, non-partisan group called Mission: Readiness (Military Leaders for Kids) is promoting healthy school lunches in Kansas and across the nation as a way to combat the problem. In Kansas, 29 percent of teenagers are overweight, according to figures it cites from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About a third of American children and teens are considered obese or overweight.
“We think a more healthy lifestyle over the long term will have significant impacts on both the military posture — those available to get into the military — and across our society as a whole from a medical perspective,” retired Brig. Gen. John Schmader said in a phone interview ahead of the report’s release.