A group of retired generals and admirals are arguing that Americans are too fat to fight in the military. The group Mission Readiness released the report "Too Fat to Fight?" to argue that junk food should be taken out of schools.
The report states that "being overweight or obese turns out to be the leading medical reason why applicants fail to qualify for military service." More than 27 percent of Americans age 17 to 24 are too heavy to join the military if they want to, according to statistics cited in the report. And the military discharges about 1,200 first-term enlistees before their contracts are up because of weight problems.
Kids on average consume 130 "empty" calories a day from candy, cookies and chips, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mission: Readiness has been working to get rid of junk food in schools since 2010, when it supported the passing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The act requires the USDA to update nutrition standards in schools.
The report notes a study conducted in Philadelphia which exposed schoolchildren to healthier food and resulted in a decrease in overweight children as evidence that tactics like replacing junk food in schools can be effective.
The report calls on Congress to pass new child nutrition legislation that would take junk food out of schools, support funding that would improve nutritional quality of food served in schools, and provide children access to more programs to fight obesity.