Who’d have thought that cupcakes would be a threat to national security. Well they are—a full 27 per cent of Americans are too obese to join the military.And we’re getting fatter every year.
In total, because of obesity and poor health, as well as other factors — criminal record, poor education — a whopping 75 per cent of entrants are disqualified. Among the ones who do qualify, about 15,000 every year fail the initial physical fitness tests.
A report, filed by 93 retired senior ranking service members, titled “Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve,” details the potential pitfalls of America’s health care problems:
The percentage of Americans who are not just overweight but actually obese has risen rapidly. The rate of obesity among American adults has more than doubled over the past four
decades, with one in three adults being obese. So, the number of enlistment-age young adults who cannot join the military because of weight problems – currently 27 per cent nationally – is likely to continue to rise in the next few years.
Nearly a third (32 per cent) of all young people have health problems – other than their weight – that will keep them from serving.
The paper goes on the specify that early access to quality health care (not to mention early education) and nutrition is key to maintaining an operational force. In tough economic times, it’s easy to attract qualified applicants, but as the economy rebounds, prospects will dry up.
Currently, the Army spends about 20,000 dollars per recruit in order to attract the types of Americans who will make more competitive soldiers.
So it’s also hitting American taxpayers in their pocketbook. Aside from military costs, our citizens pay twice as much per capita as the most developed countries in the world and is treated with poorer results.
Not only are health care costs exploding our national debt (another issue of national security), but soon if obesity rates keep rising and overall health keeps dipping, we’ll have no one to actually stand guard
So call it Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act or the Patient Protection Act; call it a “Tax” or a “Fee,” hell even call it a “penalty,” it doesn’t matter—lack of access to affordable health care created a growing problem for our military.
However we decide to address its rising costs and our lack of access, one fact remains: For the sake of our nation’s security, we cannot go back to the course we were on.
This post was originally written for The Winning Words Project and appears on their website here.
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