US kids too fat to fight

Rising rates of obesity among young Americans could pose a risk to the future of the military, two retired generals are warning.

John Shalikashvili and Hugh Shelton, both former chairmen of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in the Washington Post: "Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military.

"We consider this problem so serious from a national security perspective that we have joined more than 130 other retired generals, admirals and senior military leaders in calling on Congress to pass new child nutrition legislation."

They say more than a quarter of American youth are now too fat to fight and that weight is ruling out more potential recruits than any other medical factor.

The men are calling for Congress to introduce laws on the food available in schools.

"Our school districts need the resources to offer our children more vegetables, fruits and whole grains as well as products with less sugar, sodium, fat and calories in school cafeterias and vending machines.

"Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military. We must act, as we did after World War II, to ensure that our children can one day defend our country, if need be," they concluded.

- NZHERALD STAFF

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