Getting more Army recruits? Fat chance

While visiting the Army’s largest basic training facility in Fort Jackson, S.C., first lady Michelle Obama harped on the importance of reducing childhood obesity by noting that it’s “not just a health issue for children, it’s a national security issue. You have to get the whole country behind this because it’s affecting our ability to protect our freedom.”

Her comments come upon Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling’s briefing, during which he stated it’s becoming more difficult to find recruits that meet the Army’s physical requirements, and he blamed sedentary lifestyles and fast food for today’s children’s growing waistlines.

“The link between childhood obesity and national security could catch people by surprise,“ says ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. “Indeed, such a weight limit in terms of military admission will certainly cause a lot of potential recruits to be rejected.”