We know obesity is a problem in America – all it takes is a quick look at the nearest McDonalds or KFC line-up to see that fast-food and excessive eating have become commonplace in American culture.
As the population in the U.S. has grown to an all-time high of 323.1. million (according to 2016 census numbers), so has the obesity crisis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that approximately 14 percent of American high school students were rated as obese in 2015.
Sadly, besides affecting these individuals’ health, it’s also affecting key industries in America.
Obesity Is Eating Away At The Backbone Of America
While the national obesity crisis obviously has had a significant impact on the healthcare system, it has also impacted the military, police force, and firefighting departments.
The non-profit organization Council for a Strong America recently released their findings that an astounding 26.5 percent of youth in the state of Colorado simply don’t qualify for military service due to excessive weight.
Mission: Readiness, an organization comprised of retired military leadings, stated similar numbers in 2013 when they reported that an estimated 27% of American youth were “too fat to fight”, and the truth is, it’s not just affecting the military’s recruitment numbers.
Who Will Fight Fires Or Stop Crimes?
The obesity epidemic has also become an increasing issue for the police force and firefighters in the States. With already strict requirements regarding tattoos and criminal records, obesity has compounded the recruitment process even further.
The numbers in Council for a Strong America’s report are staggering as they state that roughly 70% of people between ages 17-24 are ineligible for service due to a combination of educational deficiencies, criminal records, and obesity.
Perhaps most alarming are the statistics reported by FireRescue.org which suggested almost 10% of firefighters currently serving are severely overweight.
The FBI reported even more drastic numbers among police officers with an estimated 8 out of 10 officers being considered obese, which makes us think the police eating doughnuts stereotype isn’t so far from reality…
These numbers beg the question: are the youth of America digging their own graves or are they following the bad example of their elders that have allowed the national obesity issue to spin wildly out of control?
You be the judge, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.