During the first 10 months of this year, 1,625 soldiers were dismissed for being out of shape. That's about 15 times the number discharged for that reason in 2007 at the peak of wartime deployment, CNN reports. Overweight are considered "substandard" fighting units and a threat to national security and the nation' ability to maintain an adequate defense. Obesity is now the leading cause of ineligibility for those wishing to join, say military officials.
Rural America is more obese than America as a whole. In Kentucky, a state that ranks high in obesity, military recruitment rates (as a percentage of the recruits per 100,000 youth aged 18-24) have dropped steadily from 2007, when it was 2.53 percent, to 2010, when it was 1.94 percent. Perhaps the state's high obesity rate was a reason. (Read more)