(RT.com / AFP Photo / David Furst)
Fifteen times more troops were discharged from the US Army this year due to obesity than five years prior. With scores of recruits unfit to serve due to the extra pounds, the country’s top brass have deemed it a national security concern.
The American Army is discharging servicemen in an attempt to cut its budget, and the first to be given their walking papers are those who have failed fitness tests because of obesity. During the last 10 months alone, 1,625 troops were dismissed from the US army due to being overweight, the Washington Post reported.
Over the last 15 years, the figures of obese people actively serving more than tripled. Armed Forces Health reported that in 2010, 86,186 servicemen (5.3 per cent of the military) had at least one obesity-related diagnosis.
In 2010, the highest percentage of overweight troops were women older than 40 serving in the Air Force. Marines and troops in other branches under 20 were deemed the most fit.
The alarming trend caused the top brass to review the soldiers’ training programs, prompting them to push commanders to discharge all those unfit to serve.
“A healthy and fit force is essential to national security. Our service members must be physically prepared to deploy on a moment’s notice anywhere on the globe to extremely austere and demanding conditions,” Commander Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told the daily.