by Big Dog on Feb 10, 2010 at 23:07 Political
Michelle Obama has taken on the issue of childhood obesity and while this is certainly an issue that effects many children one has to wonder where it becomes an issue for the government. What children eat and how they are fed is a matter for parents, not the nannies in government.
Obama said that obesity is a national security issue:
Military leaders report that obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service. Economic experts tell us that we’re spending outrageous amounts of money treating obesity-related conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And public health experts tell us that the current generation could actually be on track to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Politics Daily
I don’t know who these military leaders are because they are unnamed and no information other than the claim is given. The branches of service have different weight standards and obesity is certainly an issue that can cause disqualification but most services will take people who are overweight because basic training usually gets them in shape and helps them lose weight. A waiver might be required but those who are otherwise healthy might get the waiver and later be released if unable to shed the weight.
Claiming it to be a national security issue is shady at best. If national security is the issue more waivers will be issued and the recruits who are obese will be on a more strenuous program to get them in compliance.
There are a lot of things that disqualify people from military service including use of Ritalin. This is certainly an issue that is widespread because America drugs its children with Ritalin more than any country in the world. The list of things that can be disqualifying is quite large and some reasons are more common than others.
In any event, none of them is a national security issue any more than being too tall or too short to join is a national security issue.
It might be wise for the administration to avoid the hype and stick to real issues that actually are a concern for national security.
Like say, allowing people on watch lists to board aircraft with bombs in their underwear.
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