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May 15, 2022
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The fat trust that will burst: the US Army is threatened by an obesity epidemic

The fat trust that will burst: the US Army is threatened by an obesity epidemic

Photo: Konstantin Sazonchik / TASS

American nutritional scientist Sara Polis from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, you can say “revealed a military secret”, telling about the futile efforts of the US government and the Pentagon in the fight against obesity, which affects the combat readiness of the most powerful army in the world.

If in our country recruits in the military registration and enlistment offices are sometimes eliminated due to lack of weight, then in America, on the contrary, they are more often rejected due to fat folds. Norms for the US military depend on gender, age and height. For example, a five-foot-tall recruit, that’s about sixty feet, should weigh no more than 139 pounds—about 63 kilograms for men and 54 kilos for women.

The obesity epidemic in the United States has been noticed for a long time, and now it has begun to affect the number of recruits, the number of which is increasingly limited, writes the British newspaper Daily Express, quoted by RIA Novosti.

Pavel Podlesny, Head of the Center for Russian-American Relations at the Institute for the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences recalls that there is no secret that America is overweight:

– But as for the impact of this disease on the American army, here the author of the material attracts a little by the ears. In America, there is no compulsory military service, there is a hired army, and when a person is hired, when a contract is signed, the military may well solve this problem by offering to lose weight to someone who wants to or not to take a fat volunteer to serve. There are enough people in the country, there are those who want to serve in the army for hire, especially among the black population.

Yes, there is a problem, but it’s not that big. You might think that it was this phenomenon that undermined the American army in Afghanistan and therefore they got out of there without salty slurping. Probably, there are many other problems in the American army related to personnel, the state of health of the nation. Let the author of the article himself enlist in the American army and serve there.

“SP”: – But the Daily Express is British, and the journalist criticizes the American army and partly President Biden.

– The British are generally not very happy with Joseph Bidn, despite the outward decency and interaction of the two countries. In reality, they are critical of Biden and his policies because of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. They consider the American position not tough enough. They do not like that Biden constantly says that America will not send its troops to Ukraine, will not drag NATO into the conflict, but mainly focuses on military supplies and financial assistance to Ukraine. On an unprecedented scale.

“SP: – So you think that this article is caused by the dissatisfaction of the British with the small, in their opinion, America’s activity in Ukraine?

– Partly. They should at least somehow prick their strategic partners. Let the British send their army to Ukraine, who is stopping them? They will be so well received there, after which their militancy will subside a little.

“SP”: – When we watch the performance of American generals on TV, they do not look obese. But ours, on the contrary, are representative.

– Our generals were not thin even in tsarist times, such is our tradition. They were slender in the thirties, pre-war years of the twentieth century, during the Great Patriotic War, as well as in the post-war years. And then – slowly drawn into a peaceful life.

But in general, I think this topic does not deserve much attention. The problem of excess weight and diabetes, of course, exists all over the world, but Americans can cope with it at home. The 33 billion dollars that were allocated for “aid to Ukraine” could help them solve this problem. It would be better if they were sent to find a way to effectively treat the problem of obesity among Americans …

By the way, the current head of the US Department of Defense Lloyd Austin weighs approximately 200 pounds or 95 kg. But he is a tall man, he could play basketball – 6 feet 1 inch or 1 meter 85 centimeters, and for a 68-year-old man, his weight is quite acceptable.

In America, those people whose body mass index (BMI) exceeds 30 kg / m² are classified as obese. It has long been noted that in such cases there is a high probability of occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancer – the main causes of disability. But if the military received a disability in the service, then he needs to pay a pension for life.

So there is a problem, and according to scientists, it has a profound impact on national security, limiting the number of recruits available, as well as those candidates for re-conscription, which in case of what America planned to put under arms.

In addition, additional and more urgent problems are created by the changing demographics of military personnel, many of whom have difficulties with “food security” in their families. Simply put, they are starving. The personnel of the basic training regiments in the US today include more women, as well as different racial and ethnic groups.

But once the American army was, as they say, assembled for the most part from privileged Americans: representatives of the Caucasian race, Protestants of Anglo-Saxon origin (white anglo-saxon protestant or WASP, – WELL.).

Military expert, doctor of military sciences Konstantin Sivkov believes that among those who formed the backbone of the American army before, the prestige of military service is falling:

– The American army is beginning to recruit people who do not have American citizenship, that is, people from third world countries who want to become US citizens by serving in the American army. Associated with this are illnesses typical of migrants. They also limit the number of recruits.

But the size of the American army is still one million seven hundred thousand, and the population of the United States is 330 million. So the main problem there is by no means only obesity …

Faced with the problem of unexpected obesity are those who were undernourished in their homeland and suddenly ended up in the country of soft buns with a cutlet inside and free, sweet to cloying, cola. And this is all food available, but not healthy and often leads to obesity. IDPs also have increased anxiety, which is fraught with mental problems. This, in turn, poses an additional threat to military missions, the researchers note.

Although, according to the Global Fire Power (GFP) Internet resource, the American army is still in first place in the world. Ratings are, of course, a tricky thing. So it turns out that the United States is stronger than Iceland, which occupies the last place in this rating – two thousand times. America is also stronger than Russia, which is in second place – by tenths of a percent. At the same time, Russia is stronger than Ukraine, located in 22nd place, only six times.

Ratings are conditional, do not take into account everything. For example, Afghanistan is in 118th place in this rating. Nevertheless, the USSR, which was possibly stronger than the United States militarily, and then the States themselves were forced to leave. The military potential of each country on land, at sea and in the air includes, in addition to the army, manpower, equipment, natural resources, finance and geography – more than fifty different factors.

And as for the obesity epidemic in America, the link between the health of the American nation and national security was identified long ago, in 1946. But then everything was different. At the time, malnutrition was a problem, food supplies were low in the United States, and the administration of then President Truman decided to introduce the National School Lunch Program.

The portion sizes and calorie content of American foods have increased. But the number of people eligible for military service has also declined. The proportion of eligible recruits who are overweight has doubled among men and tripled among women.

Now the US military is calling for a change in the diet in the US again, including in schools. Replace junk food, use not only free, but also inexpensive and at the same time healthy meals. So you don’t have to worry about the Americans.

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