We've read the reports about the obesity problems in the youths of America, but is it now a national security issue? The Pentagon just released a report saying 35% of the 31 million Americans aged 17 to 24 are unqualified because of physical and medical issues. The majority don't qualify because they are too fat or sickly, the rest are too dumb or have used too many drugs to qualify. The report pulled data from the Centers for Disease Control, which has found that the percentage of youth 18 to 34 who are considered obese has jumped from 6% in 1987 to 23% today. That's a striking and frightening figure. The report gets even more dire. An updated report published in USA Today
says the official report will be released Thursday and will show that when all factors are considered, 75% of military-age youth are not eligible to serve. Here's a breakdown of why they're not eligible from the Pentagon (these numbers don't exactly add up so interested parties should check out the official report when it's available):
Medical/physical problems - 35%
Illegal drug use - 18%
Mental Category V (the lowest 10% of the population) - 9%
Too many dependents under age - 6%
Criminal record - 5%.
The question has to be asked, where are the parents? What role does family play into these figures and what can we do about it? Are you making sure that your kids eat properly and stay fit? We look forward to your thoughts.