American obesity and the future of our military

The threats that America’s military face are numerous.

As a Heritage member, you enable one of the most talented groups of national security experts to research and address the critical issues facing our nation today.

Politico recently quoted Heritage’s Director of National Defense, General Tom Spoehr, in an article on how America’s growing obesity will have a direct impact on our military strength.

General Spoehr points out that chronic obesity is greatly diminishing the ability for people to join the military–even if they wanted to.

In the article, General Spoehr states:

“We all have this image in our mind of this hearty American citizen, scrappy, that can do anything,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Tom Spoehr, co-author of a new Heritage Foundation paper on the military recruiting challenge titled The Looming National Security Crisis. “That image we keep in our heads is no longer accurate.”

“Obesity and the percentage of people overweight in the country has just skyrocketed in the last 10 to 15 years,” he added in an interview. “Asthma is going up. High school graduation rates are still just barely acceptable and in some big cities they are miserable. Criminality is also not going away. We have to face the reality that these things in some cases are getting worse, not better.”

Read why this growing obesity crisis is such a threat to our national security >>

Heritage also hosted an event last year titled, A looming national security crisis: young Americans unable to join the military, where current and former military officers discussed the impact obesity will have on our nation’s military.

You can watch the event below:

Do you agree with General Spoehr’s analysis? What do you think should be done about the obesity crisis? 

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