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 ?
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