Skip to comments.Young Americans too fat to fight
Posted on 08/27/2007 5:36:16 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
AN EPIDEMIC of obesity could have serious consequences for America's economy and its ability to defend itself, according to a leading politician.
Self-confessed "recovering foodaholic" Mike Huckabee, a Republican Party presidential candidate, told a group of governors from the American South that the increasing numbers of people who were either over-weight or obese meant more and more people were having to take time off work for health reasons.
And Mr Huckabee, who lost 110lb - nearly 8st - several years ago when he was governor of Arkansas, said he was concerned by reports that nearly two-thirds of American military personnel were overweight.
He questioned whether the nation's increasingly obese population would be able to defend itself "if we don't have enough people who are healthy enough to show up and pick up a backpack?"
The Southern Governors' Association convention heard that obesity was creating the first generation of Americans who might not live as long as their parents. Dr William Rowley, who was a vascular surgeon for 30 years and now works at the Institute for Alternative Futures, said 61 per cent of US active-duty military personnel are overweight.
Mr Huckabee, who is among a crowded pack of candidates in the Republican Party race, which also includes former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, actor and former senator Fred Thompson and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, said the statistic disturbed him.
"You've got a serious situation with a generation of kids coming up so unhealthy they won't be able to pass the military physical," he said in an interview after the panel discussion.
"We keep talking about the war on terror - who's going to fight it if we don't have enough people who are healthy enough to show up and pick up a backpack?"
Mr Huckabee - who left office in January after having been governor since July 1996 - implemented a number of programmes to battle weight problems in Arkansas, including having state schools measure students' body fat.
But he worried that not enough was being done to ensure children growing up in the US today were living healthy lifestyles.
"Let me ask this question: who's going to fight it in the future if we're a generation so sick that we don't have the capacity to show up for work?" Mr Huckabee said.
The governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, also a Republican, said during the panel discussion that the eight fattest states in the nation were all in the South. He questioned whether diet was a factor in areas of the country where fried chicken is part of the culture.
"I don't know that fried chicken has anything to do with it," Mr Barbour said. "We weren't raised eating right in the South, but the good news is we can do something about it."
Health has been an early issue in Republican debates.
On Friday, Mr Romney said the government had to help to ensure everyone was covered by health insurance.
He announced healthcare initiatives that would deregulate the insurance market, cap malpractice claims and make sure everyone was insured.
Instead of using federal money to reimburse hospitals for treating people without insurance, he said he wanted the money to be used to help low- income people buy insurance at a lower cost.
High fructose corn syrup.
Bingo. All the processed crap doesn’t help either. Not voting for Huckabee, but a fat man who can get thin is worth listening to.
“Dr William Rowley, who was a vascular surgeon for 30 years and now works at the Institute for Alternative Futures, said 61 per cent of US active-duty military personnel are overweight.”
And it’s clearly having an extremely detrimental impact.
Let’s get more politicians pandering to populist hysteria so they’ll have more fodder to laugh at us with overseas.
I was on a bicycle every minute I wasn’t at school or asleep from age 4 to about 15. I couldn’t have gained weight if I had tried. Now I’m 375 lbs. Hmmmmmm.
This has been going on for years. When I was a military instructor in the early nineties, 80% of our weight control and remedial PT programs were composed of students under 22 years old.
It’s not processed crap, it’s not HFCS. It’s food availability. We’re wealthy. Food is cheap. We can easily afford it, and we can easily get it on any street corner. We have softer lives, we don’t have to work in the fields, we don’t even have to walk that much. We live in a continent-sized country, which means a large chunk of us have to drive because mass transit doesn’t exist and isn’t cost effective for the sheer geographic scales involved, which means we aren’t walking a fair amount daily (as many city dwellers might). There are numerous reasons for increasing weight, and we’re hardly alone in it. (As the rapidly advancing overweight and obesity numbers in other nations attest.)
We are good, though, at making increasingly outlandish claims and airing that outlandishness in public for everyone to laugh at.
Not sure if I would use the overused word, crisis.
I was just at the Minnesota State Fair yesterday. There were well over 50,000 people there. I would say that well over 90% of the people there were in normal or better shape.
Once a fatty always a fatty.
That’s why we need to slap an excise tax on high calorie food that tastes good and use the proceeds for weight reduction advertising.
I can hardly wait to do morning calisthenics with President Huckabee on the boob tube.
75% of the people running for president on both sides of the aisle are purile morons.
Too many Buffet restaurants! Go there and you can easily spot the regulars.
I agree that corn syrup is a problem. But we’re a car culture. We need rail service in our Metro areas. Our towns need to be more pedestrian friendly. This is a huge problem in America. A strong country isn’t made of strip malls. Our whole culture is suffering.
After returning from a visit to West Point last week, I’m confident that young Americans are fit to fight. In fact I feel pretty damn good about young Americans after that visit!
Perhaps as a diet expert, but I am fed up with politicians trying to play national mommy and daddy. I thought that was what Democrats did.
You are, no doubt, correct, but whatever happened to the studies that say that slightly overweight people live longer than underweight people ?
BUMP!!! What are Republicans doing trying to be better national mommies than the Democrats!
You mean like post #11 ?
They were probably thrown down the memory hole. Government exists to control the peasants, and that kind of information would be counter-productive to their efforts. They’re already talking about taxes on high calorie foods, somewhat akin to their “sin tax” on cigarettes and liquor.
“play national mommy and daddy”
Seems the reason we have two parties now.
For politicians looking to expand the role of government, everything is a crisis.
But...but that would tax the poor and underprivileged who can afford no better. We must tax luxury cars, big boats, Rolex watches and diamonds.
Well, tax those things too.
That’s another consequence of Big Sugar’s tariff on “Foreign Sugar.” High fructose corn syrup is used nowhere else in the world. Whether or not the stuff has evil properties if it weren’t for cane sugar being priced artificially high there would be no need for it.
Were it not for the tariffs and subsidies, cane sugar could not be grown economically anywhere in the U.S. There’s a buttload of Everglades land that could otherwise be reverted to it’s proper role of growing alligators.
Alright soldiers...up on your feet and follow me!
“I agree that corn syrup is a problem. But were a car culture. We need rail service in our Metro areas. Our towns need to be more pedestrian friendly. This is a huge problem in America. A strong country isnt made of strip malls. Our whole culture is suffering.”
Oh great, a “smart growth” commissar. Shall we appoint you and your latte friends down at the Starbucks to the ministeriat of housing, mein fuhrer?
also comes from the sodium saccharin, equal, splenda, and other artificial sweetners. mostly people who drink diet sodas are not THIN
Good Lord man. You are killing yourself! Do something serious, seriously!
We used to not be in such a crisis:
Body Mass Index (BMI) is defined as the ratio of weight (in kg) to height (in meters) squared and is an inexact measure of body fat, though it supposedly establishes cutoff points of normal weight, overweight, and obesity.
Old definition: BMI > 28 (men), BMI > 27 (women)
People under old definition: 70.6 million
New definition: BMI > 25
People added under new definition: 30.5 million
Percent Increase: 43%
The definition was changed in 1998 by U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Its that damn Gen. Gao. He makes delicious chicken but he is a ruthless foe!!
We are a nation of porkers and it isn’t because of genetics. Go to Europe. You don’t see many overweight people and very few of the giants you see here.
A generation ago adults weighed on average 25 pounds less than they do now and you rarely saw monstrous eight year olds. What changed? Lifestyle and diet. We drive everywhere and a lot of people get little to no exercise. Our portions are bigger than anywhere else in the world and more of us are eating out on a regular basis. We watch TV all day long. Our kids are getting worse because rather than play outside, they tend to play hours of videogames while stuffing their chubby little faces.
Curiously, I am a reformed smoker, a former fatty, an ex-druggie, and a dried out lush.
Are you being sarcastic or misguided?
This stems from our insatiable society. To help the country, I will begin selling Fat Credits. When someone gains weight, they can pay me to find someone who is losing weight. Available just in time for the holiday season.
Curiously, I am a reformed smoker, a former fatty, an ex-druggie, and a dried out lush.
At last! An explaination! ;>)
I have a sister who is 5’3” and weighs 500 pounds. She lives on diet soda. Listen to the term sodium saccharan what is the first word, sodium and what does too much salt do? makes you hold water weight.
I worked for a few years at a Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant. I cannot tell you how many people would come in and order a Hot fudge cake, or a Hot fudge sundae with a diet coke. AMazing.
Absolutely! Plus all the other make believe additives they put in processed foods to make you addicted to their near toxic alchemy...
We have engineered activity out of our modern lives...
I'll have a cup of the broccoli and cheese soup, a half-pound mushroom-swiss burger with jalapenos, an order of onion rings and a DIET COKE!!
yes. it is the same diff with drinking lowfat or non fat milk the whole milk tastes like you are drinking heavy whipping cream.
you just become adjusted to it.
Well said. It's about more laws, more control, more oppression and less freedom. Once laws were changed regarding smoking, the barn door was opened and it'll eventually turn in to a stmapede by the totalitarians and the trial law-yers.