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The U.S. military has a huge problem with obesity and it’s only getting worse

It’s not exactly clear why America’s military personnel are getting fatter. Could be that 15 years of war have weakened the focus on fitness. Could be that millennials, with their penchant for sedentary activities like playing video games and killing time on social media, aren’t always up to the rigors of military life. Could be all the burgers, fries, cakes and pies served in chow halls around the world.

And maybe, too, the military is simply reflecting the nation’s broader population, whose poor eating habits are fueling an alarming rise obesity rates.

This much is clear, though: Today’s military is fatter than ever.

For the first time in years, the Pentagon has disclosed data indicating the number of troops its deems overweight, raising big questions about the health, fitness and readiness of today’s force.

About 7.8 percent of the military — roughly one in every 13 troops — is clinically overweight, defined by a body mass-index greater than 25. This rate has crept upward since 2001, when it was just 1.6 percent, or one in 60, according to Defense Department data obtained by Military Times. And it’s highest among women, blacks, Hispanics and older service members.

Read more at Military Times

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