25% of Young Military Recruits are Rejected – Here’s Why


A new study revealed that almost 25% of young military recruits are rejected because of obesity.  This stunning discovery reveals just how deep the obesity epidemic in America truly is.

The study is from the 14th annual State of Obesity report.  It is a joint effort from the Trust for America’s Health group and the Robert Wood Johnson foundation.  From the report:

Being overweight or obese is the leading cause of medical disqualifications, with nearly one-quarter of [military] service applicants rejected for exceeding the weight or body fat standards.

Technically, obesity could be considered a national security issue.  That’s a lot of recruits that could be actively serving.

Some might speculate that rejection only hurts the recruits or that it is unfair.  However, the military has valid reasons for rejection.  Obese military members cost the military about $1 billion, both in healthcare cost and lost productivity.  Since the military is a public institution, we are ultimately paying the price.

There were other reasons for rejecting recruits.  Among them, criminal records, educational deficits, and drug use are among the highest.  However, they dwarfed in comparison to obesity.  All in all, combining these major problems meant that 70% of American youth were unfit to serve.  Looks like there won’t be a draft any time soon.

The report also reports other discoveries.  Some are shocking, some are not.  Either way, it casts light on obesity in 2017.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • Southern/midwestern states are in trouble.  23 out of 25 states with obesity problems are from these areas.
  • Obesity is a racial and ethnic issue.  African Americans and Latinos scored the highest obesity rates.
  • The more uneducated, the more likely an American will be obese.
  • The same holds true for Americans with incomes below $15,000.  This comes as no surprise since the cheapest foods are most likely unhealthy foods.

To end on a more positive note, it seems adult obesity is leveling off.  By keeping up the momentum, hopefully America can work to bring the rates down.


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