Obesity: A national security threat?
January 3rd, 2011
01:02 PM ET

Obesity: A national security threat?

Is the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. a threat to national security?

"Oh, yes," said Maj. Gen. Paul Monroe, retired from the U.S. Army.

CNN Radio's Jim Roope talked with Monroe and an Army recruiter to examine the issue. Monroe, with the group Mission: Readiness, released a study saying the obesity rate among children and teens - one in three according to the CDC - is a threat.

"The military found that one in four recruits are not eligible because of weight," he said.

"And not everyone wants to be in the military, and when you reduce it by 25 percent, it's a real problem," Monroe said.

Sgt. 1st Class Jason Montano, an active-duty recruiter with the Army, says he wouldn't go as far as calling childhood obesity a threat to national security, but it is a challenge.

"As recruiters trying to recruit America's force, we have a lot of our kids this day and age that are obese," Montano said.

He says the military does have a program to get obese and overweight kids Army-ready.

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Filed under: Health • Military • Nutrition
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. rustycnn

    Well, look at it another way. With all the obesity now and in 20 years most likely the percentage will 100 fold, we will see a huge rise in death due to all the illness of being over weight. With the high percentage of death the Social Security System will be back in business! Sounds crude to say, but it's true! So America, just keep on eating crap and save the Social Security System..............

    January 3, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pamela K

    When 1 in 3 cannot pass the US Army's entrance exam, you need to list lack of education as a National Security Threat. The US Army has the lowest threshold for exam scoring compared to all the other US Military Branches. I say don't worry about the body weight _ it will come off in basic training or for the Tape and Measures later.

    January 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tomcat

    Read the food labels. See how much salt, sugar, fat etc. in the contents. If I cant pronounce an ingrediant, no way I am eating it.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kc

    I'm not fat, I'm preparing for a famine. (Ok. I'm fat.)

    January 4, 2011 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lisa

    Not to worry. We can squash the enemy by sitting on them. I think we, as a Nation, should begin Sumo wrestling training our youth immediately.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Klotzi

    What this article fails to mention is that, although a person may not be qualified to join the military because of their weight it does not mean they are obese. The military has certain height/weight standards. I am in the military and have never made the weight standard for my height, however, I am no where near obese. They should specify exactly how many people attempting to join didn't make weight standards, and how many didnt make weight standards because they are actually obese because it is not the same thing.

    January 4, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. WhackAMole

    Flapjacks! What a stupid story!

    January 4, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. mikeyl

    The government is always trying to get the people to feel guilty of letting there kids get fat it won't be long now that if your child is 10 lbs overwieght you will be fined $100.00 for every 10lbs above the first 10 got to make money for there vacations

    January 4, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. snoop

    Yes, obesity is a problem. Apparently so is education. I can tell that by the amount of bad grammar and basic english skills I see all over the comments.

    January 4, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    If you are overweight and would like your body to return to it's natural form, please scroll-up to my 'phil on weight loss' post above. It's a lot easier than what people who profit from selling you weight-loss programs and pills want you to think. Thank you.

    January 4, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
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