Loading...
BYH to the one saying that Democrats don't believe in America's borders. Where do they get this stuff? I've never heard...

Army's battle against obesity could set trend

Jungle Warfare

A soldier from the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team crosses a stream with a rope during jungle warfare training at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on March 1, 2017.

Loading…

Monday, March 5, 2018

This probably won’t surprise you: Most Americans are overweight and out of shape. We eat food that’s not good for us and we eat too much of it. We don’t, however, tend to overdo our exercise. We’re a pretty sedentary bunch.

This, however, might come as a surprise: The Army has a fitness problem too. At any given time, more than 100,000 soldiers are unable to deploy, more because of injuries suffered in training than for any other reason. Some Army leaders believe healing is delayed for many soldiers because they aren’t as physically fit as they should be.

And then the news gets worse. Replacing soldiers is harder than ever. The Army’s target recruiting market — young adults between 17 and 24 — is in lousy shape. It’s so bad that 72 percent of them are ineligible to serve in the military. Nearly a third of them are simply too overweight.

That’s 24 million of the 34 million in that age group who wouldn’t be eligible for a military career even if they wanted one. And now that the national economy has improved and we’re at full employment, most of those remaining 10 million who might qualify for military service are taking their careers elsewhere.

Among the nation’s young people, those from this region tend to be the least fit of all. As a story inc Observer reported, a study conducted by the military school, The Citadel, in conjunction with the Army Public Health Center and the American Heart Association, found that recruits from 10 states — including the Carolinas — are “significantly less fit, and consequently are more likely to encounter training related injuries than recruits from other U.S. states.” And yet, those 10 states account for more than 37 percent of the Army’s new recruits in recent years.

The Army is studying ways to overcome problems of recruit and soldier fitness, and is developing new standards for physical testing, as well as moving toward creating Soldier Performance Readiness Centers in combat units that include strength and conditioning coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, sports psychologists and counselors. The centers would aim to prevent injuries and speed the recovery of soldiers who do get injured.

This would be yet another place where the military could provide leadership for civilian society — which needs the help. As obesity becomes a greater national problem, we’re also seeing epidemics of diabetes, heart disease and other severe health problems that are as taxing to the civilian workplace as they are to Army combat units.

Even as American youth are getting heavier and less fit, schools have cut back or even eliminated physical education and other school programs that get kids up and moving. And in an era when young eyes are perpetually glued to phone, tablet or PC screens, most time out of school is spent in sedentary pursuits as well.

Again, those problems are greatest here and in the states around us. The Citadel study shows rates of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers are greater here than in the rest of the country, and that the rates of obesity and physical inactivity are correspondingly higher as well.

This is a societal problem that is costing us a fortune in lost work time and in health care costs. The trend lines are going in the wrong direction — it’s getting worse, not better.

The solution? Paying attention to what the Army is doing would be a good place to start. Not only is the service revamping its physical training requirements, it’s also putting a strong emphasis on healthy eating. Education is a key — helping soldiers understand the damage they can do to themselves by failing to stay in shape and by consuming a diet heavy in fast food and refined ingredients.

America needs a similar program. Continuous education about tobacco’s harm has led to substantial decreases in America’s smoking habit. A similar effort on good food and exercise could pay off as well. So would school systems’ increased emphasis on physical training.

It’s worth a try. Lives are at stake.

The Fayetteville Observer

From Today
Dec. 14 Community News

TO­DAY

Blood do­na­tion cen­ter

The Eastern North Carolina Dona­tion Cen­ter, 700 Cromwell Drive, will be open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to­day through Sun­day and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mon­day. Blood donors are needed. Walk-ins wel­come;…

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

December 14, 2018

Thomas A. Farr was a woefully bad choice to be a federal district judge in North Carolina.

Thank goodness Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, stood up for principle over blind party loyalty and announced that he would oppose Farr’s nomination. With all 49 Democrats in the Senate…

Congress Judicial Nomination

December 13, 2018

North Carolina corporations, again, are about to get another huge tax break — a break they do not need. It will make it more difficult for the government to meet the obligations it has to provide a quality education to the state’s children and high quality of life to all its…

N.C. Legislative Building

December 12, 2018

In his 1991 confirmation hearings, C-SPAN noted on Friday, former attorney general William Barr declared that "nothing could be more destructive of our system of government, of the rule of law, or Department of Justice as an institution, than any toleration of political interference with the…

Trump Attorney General-2

December 10, 2018

While the National Flood Insurance Program covers only 134,000 households our of North Carolina’s 3.8 million, it will likely pay for repairs costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Add all the damage in other states this year, from Florence and later from Hurricane Michael, which flattened…

Harvey-Flood Insurance-4

December 09, 2018

It is almost a truism in criminal investigations that those who flip early and help prosecutors build their case against higher-ranking figures are shown greater leniency than those who try to gut it out.

Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, is…

Trump Russia Probe Flynn

December 08, 2018

In June 1948, after the College World Series and graduation day at Yale, young George H.W. Bush packed up his cranberry-red Studebaker (a graduation gift from his father) and headed the car’s distinctive nose in a southwesterly direction. The little car got him to Odessa and to a shotgun…

Obit George HW Bush-3

December 07, 2018

In the week since the state Board of Elections declined to certify the results of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District election, journalists and others have begun to fill in the details of a troubling case of apparent ballot fraud. In Bladen County — and perhaps other counties…

Election 2018 North Carolina Congress

December 04, 2018

As many as 670,000 North Carolinians could gain sorely needed Medicaid coverage if Gov. Roy Cooper and members of both parties in the legislature will work together to help them.

Now that voters have restored some balance to the state’s power structure, that idea isn’t so far-fetched…

112118Cooper-SECU-2

December 03, 2018

What’s going on in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District? An election certification is being held up. The person behind the delay is being a bit coy about it. The public is in the dark. That needs to change — and soon.

The state board of elections refused Tuesday to certify…

Election 2018 9th Congressional District

November 30, 2018

On Nov. 6, 1986 the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) or Reagan Amnesty was passed. This act granted amnesty to those illegal immigrants in the U.S. that met the eligibility requirements of the act.

In passing the act, both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate agreed to secure…

83 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»