There are thousands of health issues. But those that are both health and economic concerns are only a handful. They include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and substance abuse, among others. But other than substance abuse, overweight and obesity is a health, economic and national security issue.
Mission: Readiness is a nonpartisan national security organization composed of more than 100 retired senior military leaders. It has issued three health-related reports: Too Fat to Fight, Still Too Fat to Fight, and Unfit to Fight. In Too Fat to Fight, Mission: Readiness asserts that obesity and overweight are a threat to national security” because nearly 27% of all Americans age 17-24 are ineligible to serve in the military because of their weight. In Still Too Fat To Fight, the group promotes the limitation junk food sales in U.S. schools. The report states that the U.S. Department of Defense “spends an estimated $1 billion per year for medical care associated with weight-related health problems.” Unfit to Fight reports that only 22% of high school seniors have daily physical education classes. They also note that many of the kids who do have daily PE get little exercise while in class.
The steadfast commitment among Utahns to U.S. national security has taken many forms over the years, from the military service of Utah residents, to the operation of Department of Defense facilities such as the Dugway Proving Ground and Hill Air Force Base. Today, Utahns can further their commitment to U.S. national security by working together to increase physical activity among our youth and improving the nutrition of all residents of Utah, creating a culture of health that will ultimately lead to a healthier U.S. military.