Being overweight or obese is the
leading medical reason that young adults cannot join the military, with 1 in 4
too overweight to enlist, says a report issued today by Mission:Readiness, a group of more than 300 retired
generals and admirals.
Schools are selling 400 billion
calories of junk food every year—the equivalent of nearly 2 billion candy bars—says
Too Fat to Fight, which calls for stronger standards
for foods and beverages sold at schools.
According to the report, the military
spends over a billion dollars a year on weight-related diseases. "Because
our country has failed to improve fitness and reduce obesity among our youth,
the military has had to work much harder than in the past to recruit and retain
enough qualified men and women who can effectively serve our country," the
This month the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) is highlighting the critical role that schools play in improving the physical activity and dietary and behaviors
of children and adolescents. CDC has synthesized research and best practices
related to promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools,
culminating in 9 guidelines.
Each of the guidelines is accompanied
by a set of implementation strategies developed to help schools work toward
achieving each guideline. For example, strategies to achieve guideline 4, which
calls for the implementation of a comprehensive physical activity program with high-quality
physical education as the cornerstone, include requiring students in grades K-12 to participate
in daily physical education that uses a planned and sequential curriculum and
instructional practices that are consistent with national or state standards
for physical education, providing a substantial percentage of each student's
recommended daily amount of physical activity in physical education class, and
using instructional strategies in physical education that enhance students'
behavioral skills, confidence in their abilities, and desire to adopt and
maintain a physically active lifestyle.
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