Obesity and National Security

July 11, 2012
12:06 pm

wwThere was a very interesting segment this week on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.  Weight Watchers President and CEO David Kirchhoff (above, at left), a Healthcare Leadership Council member, joined retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral James Barnett for a discussion on obesity and the military.  It’s an aspect of the nation’s obesity problem that hasn’t received enough attention.

As Kirchhoff put it on the program, we’re seeing a “convergence of childhood obesity and military readiness.”  One of every four young adults, aged 17-24, is too overweight to meet the standards for joining the armed forces, thus depleting the pool of young men and women needed to keep our military at full readiness.  This is a problem, as Kirchhoff put it, that affects the military but has its roots deeper in our society, specifically in the way parents encourage personal responsibility and healthy behaviors in their children.

A video of the “Morning Joe” segment can be found below.

David Kirchhoff is also author of the new book, Weight Loss Boss:  How to Finally Win at Losing – and Take Charge in an Out-of-Control Food World.

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