From 1995 to 2008, obesity rates among the military have increased from 5% to 13%. Recent reports in 2017 have those numbers up to 17%.
This displays a definite step in the wrong direction. The armed forces and dietitians are trying to figure out a plan to change this unfortunate trend.
The military is looking towards Division I athletics for guidance. Prestige college Universities use more lean protein options, made to order breakfasts, and even recovery meals to assist their athletes performance. The military is looking into changing their dine-in options to better prepare their troops.
The Navy has recently stopped frying foods and serving soda to its troops. The Army has taken steps to improve 198 of its dining halls to better fuel its forces. Most branches are trying to use fresher options, such as salad bars, to improve nutritional value. Fortunately for our armed services, they will not eliminate all comfort foods. Pizzas and burgers won’t go away entirely, but may have more limited time on the buffet bar.
Education for the troops will be another area of improvement through the years. Being able to teach these young soldiers about how to make healthier food options will have a large impact on their overall health.
Military Choices Inspire Changes for Civilians
Although the food isn’t perfect, the military food choices have brought about changes in our civilian lives too. For instance, Powerbar’s origins trace back to World War II. The military designed a meal-replacement chocolate bar that was deliberately designed to melt less easily and taste less good, so that soldiers wouldn’t be tempted to eat it before they truly needed it.
With all change we must first recognize the problem. It appears the military has realized changes need to take place, and it seems like they are trying to make positive changes based off the success of other institutions and facilities.
We hope that improvement in our nations health continues to head in the right direction, both for civilians and our military. We thank you as a nation for risking your lives and protecting our freedom.