Obesity is Threatening National Security, According to New Report from Defense Department

opicA new report from the Department of Defense found that nearly one-third of all Americans ages 17 to 24 are too overweight for military service, and about 73 percent of young adults in Kentucky aren’t qualified to serve in the military, mostly because they are overweight. That is the eighth highest ineligibility rate in the nation, according to an article on the Kentucky Health News website.

According to the “Retreat is Not an Option” report, available online here, 33 percent of Kentucky teens are overweight or obese, and 78 percent don’t get the recommended hour of exercise each day.

“Too many young people today have unhealthy eating and exercise habits,” retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Jerry D. Humble of Russellville said in a press release from “Mission: Readiness / Military Leaders for Kids.” “This problem threatens to diminish our future military strength and put our national security at risk.”

To learn more about Passport’s Shrinking Childhood Obesity with Real Expectations! (SCORE) program for overweight children and teen members, please click here.



Study Shows that About 68 Million Americans are Obese

454238423Researchers have found that almost 35% of U.S. men and 37% of U.S. women – or nearly 32 million men and 36 million women – are obese. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, also found that another 40% of men and 30% of women – or more than 36 million men and about 29 million women – are classified as overweight.

Experts note that obesity, a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, is one of the biggest factors that will contribute to a shorter life expectancy for this generation.

“Obesity is not getting better. It’s getting worse, and it’s really scary. It’s not looking pretty,” Lin Yang, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, told HealthDay.

The new report used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey gathered between 2007 and 2012, involving more than 15,000 men and women age 25 and older.

Overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). BMI is calculated by comparing a person’s weight to their height. For example, a 5-foot-9 man who weighs 169 pounds or a 5-foot-4 woman who weighs 146 pounds both have a BMI of 25 and would be considered overweight, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Obesity is defined by the CDC as a BMI of 30 or higher. A 5-foot-9 man who weighs 203 pounds or more and a 5-foot-4 woman who weighs 175 pounds or more are considered obese.

For more information on obesity, visit the American Heart Association. For more information on this study, please click here.


Study Shows How Early Habits Can Influence Heart Health in Adulthood

According to a recent study by Northwestern University researchers, the overall heart health of U.S. children falls well short of where it needs to be. Researchers found that while most of the nearly 9,000 children they studied had healthy blood pressure levels, about 40 percent did not have good cholesterol levels, almost none ate a healthy diet regularly, and about 30 percent were overweight or obese. These findings may mean more children will face a future that will include heart disease if nothing changes. To read more about the survey, check out this HealthDay article or the actual study in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.