Michelle Obama: Childhood Obesity Is A “National Security Threat”

And McDonald’s is America’s own fast food al Qaeda, I guess.

From Politico:

First Lady Michelle Obama plans to warn in remarks Monday that the nation is seeing “a groundswell of support” for curbing childhood obesity, and she is unveiling new ammunition from current and retired military leaders.

“[M]ilitary leaders … tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight,” the first lady says in prepared remarks, “childhood obesity isn’t just a public health threat, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well.”

That statistic about 1 in 4 children being unqualified for military service because of their weight is a little misleading. It’s not actually coming from the military itself but rather a group of 100 retired Generals and Admirals who started a group called Mission:Readiness which has been busy lobbying for Michelle Obama’s legislation. Here is their endorsement, in fact, from their “Too Fat To Fight” report:

Allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to adopt new nutrition standards that will get high-calorie, low-nutrition foods out of our schools;

Support the administration’s proposal for adequate funding to improve the quality of food available in schools and increase the number of children who have access to quality meals at school;

Deploy proven school-based programs that enlist parents in helping children adopt life-long changes in their eating and exercise habits.

So what are the actual numbers for Americans disqualified from service due to obesity? In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford L. Stanley noted that obesity is the biggest reason for medical disqualifications but notes that it is only a part of those qualifications which, overall, eliminate 35% of prospective troops:

Medical disqualification, with obesity a large contributing factor, removes 35 percent, drug or alcohol abuse removes 18 percent, and another 23 percent do not meet our standards for reasons including criminal misbehavior, low aptitude scores or having more dependents than can reliably be accommodated in their early career. Other factors impacting recruiting efforts include only 75 percent of our young people graduate with a high school diploma; high numbers of youth going to college directly from high school; and the continuing concerns about overseas contingency operations with its associated high operations tempo.

According to the “Too Fat To Fight” report above, 42.5 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds are obese which, doing the math, would mean that about 15% of recruits aren’t qualified because they’re too fat.

That’s lower than the number who are disqualified because of drug and alcohol use and much lower than the number who are disqualified because they’re criminals. Also, it’s worth noting that despite two wars on-going in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military is having no problems meeting its recruitment and retention goals.

So do we have an obesity crisis? Not really. But the Obamas need a crisis to justify their nanny statism, so they’ll carry on as if there was one anyway.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • awfulorv

    Heres an idea Michelle which ought to provide much protein to “Poor Families”. Have one of your friends provide skillets which has a transparent lid which closes silently during the night. Instruct the tenants to never clean the apparatus, instead have them make sure there is always a bit of grease left in the device. When the lady of the house arises she will find the skillet amply filled with cockroaches and it is a small matter of turning on the heat and presto, a days worth of protein for her family. Repeat the process daily.

  • Clh9699_9699

    i need help with both of my children we are from kansas we were however 3 yrs ago living in texas both of my children were excelling with leaps and bounds then i had some personal problems and my mom and children moved back here without me! they were introduced to a doctor who didn’t know anything about either one of their diseases and she refused to help them get in touch with the correct doctors so my children were on the same meds for a good year if not longer! i moved back here 9 months after they did i went to this doctor with them several times and ask and begged to have her help us find a medication doctor or even a psychologist and after about 7 months i found us a doctor that was 6-7 miles from our house before she was wanting us to go see a doctor that was 40-45 miles from our house knowing we had no car and little to no money! i started seeing our family doctor then my friend and her kids were seeing a psychologist and so we started seeing him too my children finally got there meds changed after being here for a year and 7 months!
    My son is 12 yrs old and autistic as well as ADHD! when we lived here when he was in kindergarten they put him in special education because of this then when we moved to texas he was in special education for 2-4 weeks and then re-entered into a normal class room where he was allowed to return to the special education teacher as needed for assistance but was immediately returned to the regular classroom after getting the help he needed! then he held the A-B HONOR ROLL for 4 yrs. when he moved back here he was immediately stuck right back into special education! he gets to go back into his regular classroom about 10-20 minutes out of every hour then right back into the special education room! he has been having all kinds of problems sence we have been back here! he has put on almost 100 lbs in the past 3 yrs he is now almost 200 lbs! i know this is not healthy because he is only 12 yrs old!
    my daughter is 15 and weighs almost 200 lbs now but was only about 125-130 when they moved here 3 yrs ago!! but she is also 5’5″ tall so she wears it a lot better than him who is only 5’2″ tall!
    she has ADD and is dyslexic she has problems reading obviously! she seems to be slowly growing out of the dyslexia to an extent i do believe that her school held her back last year she wanted to read harder books but they told her, that her reading level was not high enough she was in the 8th grade and had a reading level of a 4-5th grader! she wanted to read the Harry Potter books! they told her no her reading level was way to low to be reading those books so she had a therapist and her and i decided that she should read them on her own time and not let the school know that she was trying to read bigger books! so she did and her reading level is now 8th grade and she is a freshman! so i do think it was a good idea to allow her to read bigger books because she has improved her reading level drasticly!
    they both have been teased at school several times and i am tired of this i am a single mother of these 2 wonderful children! and i do not work because my mom is 88 yrs old and has receintly had a stroke and i now stay at home with her she can only be left for 3 hours a dad so it makes it herd to have a job! i only get 208 dollars in food stamps and my son receives a check from SSI other than that i get child support every once in awhile its nothing regular!
    I would appreciate a response and some assistance if you could possibly receive it! my email address is clh9699_9699@yah:twitter  .com! thank you very much! yours truely cathy hamilton!