The Military Should Lead the U.S. Fight Against Obesity

Rigorous physical training is a daily feature of military life, and yet the Military Times warns that the armed forces face a "huge problem with obesity" that is "only getting worse." Maybe you've seen the headlines: "Too Fat to Fight," or, closer to home, "Texas kids physically unfit for military," but you probably don't know the full extent of the problem. Texas is among the states having the hardest time finding fit recruits. Obesity rates are higher than the national average, and poor fitness is leading to more injuries and fewer recruits ready for service.How can it be? The answer is that nutrition, and not physical activity level, is the most important driver of weight. And with one in every 13 troops obese, costing the Pentagon an estimated $1 billion per year in added health care costs, according to the Military Times, the U.S. military is in desperate need of a more effective diet.After 21 years in Special Operations, I know firsthand the need to be in top physical condition. Your body has to be able to take a considerable amount of pounding just to complete the long training pipeline required to become a Special Operator. Finding qualified candidates has become increasingly difficult due to the degenerating physical abilities of youth. I've seen potential candidates who eat a diet high in carbohydrates, especially sugar, perform well below the standard. But I've also seen that when a motivated candidate makes a diet change to a low-carb/high-fat way of eating, there is always a change in body composition and improvement in performance.  Continue reading...

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