Obesity Spreading to the US Military

Compared to the U.S. civilian population, the rate of overweight troops is far smaller at just under 8 percent  compared to roughly  70 percent of the adult American population that is clinically overweight or obese, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. While the military may be  reflecting the nation’s broader population, whose poor eating habits are fueling an alarming rise obesity rates, obesity can be a life-and-death issue on the battlefield. Overweight troops may not move as quickly in ground combat, making them easier targets. And if they are wounded, it is more difficult for their buddies to pull them to safety. If Pentagon health officials are rewriting forcewide guidelines for body composition standards, one has to wonder when if the USDA should overhaul its “food pyramid” as part of a larger nutritional overhaul


For the first time in years, the Pentagon has disclosed data indicating the number of troops its deems overweight, raising big questions about the health, fitness and readiness of today’s force.

About 7.8 percent of the military — roughly one in every 13 troops — is clinically overweight, defined by a body mass-index greater than 25. This rate has crept upward since 2001, when it was just 1.6 percent, or one in 60, according to Defense Department data obtained by Military Times. And it’s highest among women, blacks, Hispanics and older service members.

Source: The U.S. military has a huge problem with obesity and it’s only getting worse

About the Author

Chris Versace, Chief Investment Officer
I'm the Chief Investment Officer of Tematica Research and editor of Tematica Investing newsletter. All of that capitalizes on my near 20 years in the investment industry, nearly all of it breaking down industries and recommending stocks. In that time, I've been ranked an All Star Analyst by Zacks Investment Research and my efforts in analyzing industries, companies and equities have been recognized by both Institutional Investor and Thomson Reuters’ StarMine Monitor. In my travels, I've covered cyclicals, tech and more, which gives me a different vantage point, one that uses not only an ecosystem or food chain perspective, but one that also examines demographics, economics, psychographics and more when formulating my investment views. The question I most often get is "Are you related to…."

Comments are closed.