The Navy remains the fattest service branch of the US armed forces, with one in four sailors obese, a new Department of Defence report has revealed.
“Obesity negatively impacts physical performance and military readiness and is associated with long-term health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and risk for all-cause mortality,” the survey pointed out.
Describing obesity as a “growing health concern among sailors,” the report said that the obesity rate for the US Navy currently stands at 22 percent.
The figures for the Air Force and the Army stand at 18.1 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively, an apparent contrast with the Marines who the report says are now the US armed forces’ leanest branch with an obesity rate of just 8.3 percent.
The survey added that the rate is higher among males than females in the US military and that it is also higher among individuals over 35 as compared to those in their 20s.
“The overall prevalence of obesity has increased steadily since 2014,” the report noted.
The document comes as the New York Times reported the US Navy’s obesity rate has increased sixfold since 2011, while as far as the other branches are concerned, the figure has more than doubled.
Earlier, the US newspaper Army Times said that about 30 percent of Americans between 17 and 24 are ineligible for recruitment and that a third of the group are disqualified over their weight.
The newspaper quoted Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, as saying that “out of all the reasons that we have future soldiers disqualify, the largest - 31 percent - is obesity.”
The Army’s Health of the Force report, in turn, insisted last year that the persisting obesity in the US “poses a serious challenge to recruiting and retaining healthy Soldiers.”
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 30.8 percent of all adult Americans are currently considered obese.