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Tomorrow’s GI Joe May Be Too Fat to Fight

The_Penguin

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Back in 1946, the original National School Lunch Act was passed in part with prodding from the military. Many American men, especially those who had grown up during the Depression, simply weren’t well-fed enough to fight. As a result of their stunted growth, soldiers who served in World War II were on average more than an inch-and-a-half shorter than young men serving in Afghanistan today.

The problem tied for the first time the seemingly unrelated policy arenas of national security and nutrition.

That link has largely been lost to history textbooks. But now, more than three generations later, it is resurfacing in Washington this year with an ironic twist: More than a quarter of recruitment-age Americans are today “too fat to fight.”

-snip-
Fat Americans pose a threat to national security - Health & Families, Life & Style - The Independent

As much as I like to pine about the Nightwatch state form of governance, when faced with real-world threats where people are unafraid of flying planes into buildings, we need a national policy on nutrition (and exercise) so as ensure a large enough supply of healthy people who can serve in the uniform.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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The State can only control what children eat for one meal a day-- perhaps two, for those students who eat breakfast at school. (Which the school system makes mighty inconvenient.)
 

Gardener

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G.I. Joe too fat to fight?

Come on, now! Everybody knows that the only serious impediment to his fighting ability is that he occasionally gets too tired from boinking Barbie.
 
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TennesseeRain

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G.I. Joe too fat to fight?

Come on, now! Everybody knows that the only serious impediment to his fighting ability is that he occasionally gets too tired from boinking Barbie.
You do realize that GI Joe and Barbie don't actually have boy and girl parts respectively, right? :)

On topic: Didn't Michelle Obama recently come under fire for trying to promote nutrition and a healthy lifestyle? I, personally, am all for it, but how do you go about it without the cries of "government interference" and "nanny state?"
 

Aunt Spiker

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FAT isn't a reason not to join or be able to fight - once IN the military your body is the government's property to get in shape and abuse most healthily.
It's the associated possible health problems that pose an issue.
 

ReverendHellh0und

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YES. under penalty of jail, and fines. we should force childeren to eat a certain way.
 

Gardener

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You do realize that GI Joe and Barbie don't actually have boy and girl parts respectively, right? :)

I have augmented mine for the sake of anatomical accuracy.
 

Aunt Spiker

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At my kid's school they *provide* healthy options - like apples - which are often just thrown away by the kids because who the heck has the time or desire to eat an apple when your honey baked sausage in a pancake is taunting you?

Most kids don't choose healthy things unless they have no-choice, and even then, some kids will decline it and just go without.
 

TennesseeRain

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At my kid's school they *provide* healthy options - like apples - which are often just thrown away by the kids because who the heck has the time or desire to eat an apple when your honey baked sausage in a pancake is taunting you?

Most kids don't choose healthy things unless they have no-choice, and even then, some kids will decline it and just go without.
Good point. However, it doesn't explain why obesity is now an epidemic in this country and not in others. Nor does it explain why obesity is an epidemic now, but wasn't when we were kids.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Good point. However, it doesn't explain why obesity is now an epidemic in this country and not in others. Nor does it explain why obesity is an epidemic now, but wasn't when we were kids.
That's because obesity is a multi-faceted issue with a large number of factors going into it - which is why it's not simple to pick down with just one or two views.
There's a list of different reasons (affecting people in different levels and some aren't affected by these at all).

I've never been to another country so I have no grasp of the average diet/main staple in other places. . . in America I see:

#1) Processed foods have become cheaper and more readily available . . . along with these processed foods have also been ushered in ingredients that are synthetic/unnatural and some have diverse reactions with someone's body-chemistry.

#2) Physical activity has dropped - in school and at home - this doesn't just include sitting to play video-games and at computers . . . this also includes our lack of walking/biking as a means of transportation. We're a vast country and we depend more and more on auto-transport just to get to the store a few miles away. In many other countries that aren't so sprawling this is less of an option - foot and bike are more common.

#3) It's become more socially acceptable to be obese. In fact, it's become fashionable to many - which leads to:

#4) Standards of what *is* overweight or *big* have changed - not just in the last 100 years, but in the last few centuries.
An example is that Marlyn Monroe was a modern-sized 10 or 8 (even though many have falsely stated she was a 12 or 16) - she was *my* size, now.

#5) Food availability:
Even our poor have access to foods that once were available only to the rich. Cookies, cake, ice cream, sugar, soda, other snacks, candy - these things are more available and more affordable than ever before. It use to be that mostly only rich people were fat because they had other people do their physical work (IE: chores around the house) and they ate more expensive foods. In modern-times, buying foods that are healthy is more expensive than cheaper and unhealthier options - crap in a can is highly unhealthy but commonly marketed to children (like chef boyardee which is falsely claims to be healthy when it's not), and these options are cheap.

Also - snack are so much more available, today, that people will consume a reasonable amount of foods each day - and an excessive amounts of snacks . . . Because snacks are empty calories the body quickly processes them and sooner than later the person is hungry and eats more - quickly shooting calorie counts through the roof.

#6) Meal-skipping. People don't eat breakfast because they aren't hungry (or lunch, etc). They aren't hungry because their metabolism is slow. . . and because their metabolism is slow they don't get quite a hungry - and it's a cycle that just repeats day after day.

#7) Overall taste in foods has changed.
What is good food? Most people say they don't like to eat veggies because they don't taste good - so they sauce them up, if they eat them at all. And many of these same people are simply unwilling to experiment with seasonings and herbs to flavor veggies to their liking. They even refuse to consume different, healthier foods with the intent on learning to like it.

#8) Depending too much on a pill or quick-fix something to solve health and weight problems - if you've been overweight your whole life or for a long time you can't expect it to end overnight. People give up too soon if they start at all.

#9) Altering your taste for food, exercise routine, daily activity levels and overall diet takes time and perseverance. Honestly, I think many people don't bother to even try because they just don't give a damn. Or, they do care, but they don't know how to change - they don't understand what's wrong. . . leads to #10

#10) People don't know how and don't have adequate information and support for their efforts. Habits are hard to change, especially when everyone you know seems accepting of your weight and other issue and offer little support - especially fi they're privy to the same attitude and bad habits.

#11) Portion size - The growth of everyone's waistline seems to correspond with the amount of food people consider 'a portion' - getting bigger and bigger over the years in restaurants, fast food joints and at home - and people trying to lose weight have to deal with portion-size reduction.

I can go on but you get the idea - everyone who's overweight on a real level can attribute their problems to one or more of these 11 issues I've listed. All or some of these are key factors behind everyone's weight-fight stories on a variety of fitness and weight loss shows.

Its' no longer a mystery as to why people are overweight.
What is a mystery is why so many people still don't care and aren't bothered by it.

Remember when someone a few years ago announced that she was losing weight so she could lose her virginity?
On a bodybuilding forum I use to frequent the reaction was: "good for her! Get healthy!" - very understanding and supportive.
But elsewhere, especially on all-women's forums I frequented at the time the reaction was: "that's so sad! She should be happy how she is!" - very critical of her mindset and quite disparaging.

So in her endeavor to lose weight for a personal goal - who was more supportive? Who would have been more helpful to her? Encouraging her that she can change if she really wanted to? Or trying to convince her to embrace her weight and not be worried about what others thought of her?
 
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Demon of Light

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Well, eventually technology will find a way to make food that tastes good and is good for you. After that obesity will be a thing of the past.
 

TennesseeRain

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That's because obesity is a multi-faceted issue with a large number of factors going into it - which is why it's not simple to pick down with just one or two views.
There's a list of different reasons (affecting people in different levels and some aren't affected by these at all).

I've never been to another country so I have no grasp of the average diet/main staple in other places. . . in America I see:
I completely agree with everything you posted. It is a multi-faceted problem, but I find it interesting that it seems to only be truly an epidemic in the United States. That leads me to believe that processed foods are a huge culprit. The advent of the epidemic seems to coincide with the invention of the microwave oven. Obviously, correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but I would venture to say that if people swore off their microwaves for 30 days, they'd lose a few pounds. Oh, and that certainly includes frozen "diet" dinners. Those things are awful. They are worse than Chinese food - in LESS than an hour, you're hungry again.

So, now that some of the reasons why obesity is a problem, what's to be done about it? Force everyone to watch a season or two of The Biggest Loser?
 

TennesseeRain

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Well, eventually technology will find a way to make food that tastes good and is good for you. After that obesity will be a thing of the past.
Actually, technology is probably at the root of the problem. :)
 

Aunt Spiker

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I completely agree with everything you posted. It is a multi-faceted problem, but I find it interesting that it seems to only be truly an epidemic in the United States. That leads me to believe that processed foods are a huge culprit. The advent of the epidemic seems to coincide with the invention of the microwave oven. Obviously, correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, but I would venture to say that if people swore off their microwaves for 30 days, they'd lose a few pounds. Oh, and that certainly includes frozen "diet" dinners. Those things are awful. They are worse than Chinese food - in LESS than an hour, you're hungry again.

So, now that some of the reasons why obesity is a problem, what's to be done about it? Force everyone to watch a season or two of The Biggest Loser?
We didn't plump up and get fat overnight - on a personal and social level - it happened over time. . . a vast change that slowly came around and we're just now really seeing the statistics on it.

I think that the only way to combat a problem which is widespread and depends on social-acceptance is by giving adequate and FACTUAL information over a lifetime - and to show how to change lifestyles - and then encourage those changes constantly. Just like any other social-issue that revolves around change - you pick at it slowly and steadily to wear down the problem generation to generation.

You brought up a good point: food-prep methods. . . .not just *what* but *how* we cook. Microwaves, toasters, deep fryers and toaster ovens - quick prep methods that invite a host of unhealthy options to the table. Foods made to prep in these are often in the 'high in calories, fats and starch' category: hot pockets, burritos, corn dogs . . .

If I ever used my microwave for cooking fast-fix foods that is what I would fix in it. . . until I figured out how to steam veggies in the wave - then it went form reheating a pot of coffee and warming a cinnabun to fixing veggies without having to stir-fry.

that also brings up another point - All of our modern-this and thats are meant to reduce our time spent doing things . . . less time mopping, scrubbing, wiping, kneading (like bread), gardening, mowing the lawn, washing clothes.

With the industrial era came time and effort reduction tools and equipment so the work can get done at the push of a button or the spin of the wheel which ultimately cut our calorie-burn in half. . . which is why part of my summer-time weight loss efforts center around using the push mower in the yard rather than the riding mower.
 
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TennesseeRain

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We didn't plump up and get fat overnight - on a personal and social level - it happened over time. . . a vast change that slowly came around and we're just now really seeing the statistics on it.

I think that the only way to combat a problem which is widespread and depends on social-acceptance is by giving adequate and FACTUAL information over a lifetime - and to show how to change lifestyles - and then encourage those changes constantly. Just like any other social-issue that revolves around change - you pick at it slowly and steadily to wear down the problem generation to generation.
You certainly are well educated and know what you need to do for a healthy lifestyle, but how do you get the word out to others? Again, and it was not here, but on another site, Michelle Obama took a verbal beating for PAGES with regard to her efforts to educate people. Schools that get rid of soda machines and candy machines are criticized...Obviously, any realistic solution to the problem is not going to be well received by a large group of people. And, also obviously, many people are completely clueless and need to be educated. A trip to the grocery store and a peek in the carts of most people will verify that.
 

TacticalEvilDan

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As much as I like to pine about the Nightwatch state form of governance, when faced with real-world threats where people are unafraid of flying planes into buildings, we need a national policy on nutrition (and exercise) so as ensure a large enough supply of healthy people who can serve in the uniform.
I've got this crazy idea.

When people join the military, let's put them through intense physical and psychological training. Let's REALLY grind on them, kick their ass, and mold and shape them into some semblance of the proud men and women who currently serve.

I call it boot camp.

No doubt when the military reads this it will steal my idea.

I SAVED AMERICA ALL BY MYSELF!

:lol:
 

TennesseeRain

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I've got this crazy idea.

When people join the military, let's put them through intense physical and psychological training. Let's REALLY grind on them, kick their ass, and mold and shape them into some semblance of the proud men and women who currently serve.

I call it boot camp.

No doubt when the military reads this it will steal my idea.

I SAVED AMERICA ALL BY MYSELF!

:lol:
Cute. But my understanding is that you have to pass a physical before you can enter boot camp.
 

Aunt Spiker

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I've got this crazy idea.

When people join the military, let's put them through intense physical and psychological training. Let's REALLY grind on them, kick their ass, and mold and shape them into some semblance of the proud men and women who currently serve.

I call it boot camp.

No doubt when the military reads this it will steal my idea.

I SAVED AMERICA ALL BY MYSELF!

:lol:
I support this boot camp concept. Tell me more, sounds promising!

I have another idea, we can call it physical-education, or phys ed for short. Where children while in school get a routine break from 'sit and study, sit and read' and get up and exercise through games - make fun out of it rather than treating it like it's a chore.
 

TennesseeRain

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I support this boot camp concept. Tell me more, sounds promising!

I have another idea, we can call it physical-education, or phys ed for short. Where children while in school get a routine break from 'sit and study, sit and read' and get up and exercise through games - make fun out of it rather than treating it like it's a chore.
Pishaw. The next thing you know, you'll want the kids to pass some sort of physical fitness test where, if they pass, they get a badge and a letter from the President or something.
 

rivrrat

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Let's mandate a healthy population so we can send them to their death. :roll:

For one thing, the medical definitions for "obese" and "overweight" are retarded. So that's part of their problem. Secondly, the military has too strict of medical qualifications for its applicants. Third, if someone WANTS to join the military, then the onus is on them to make themselves fit enough to pass the tests.
 

TacticalEvilDan

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Seriously, though, the major problem isn't even nutrition.

Is that, as a nation, Americans have been cultivated to be consumers, and reserve our questioning of authority to surface emotions and the daily outrage (which is whatever happens to be spewing forth from the pundits on any given day).

By and large, we're running short on critical thinking skills and common sense. Our diet is the least of our concerns.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Seriously, though, the major problem isn't even nutrition.

Is that, as a nation, Americans have been cultivated to be consumers, and reserve our questioning of authority to surface emotions and the daily outrage (which is whatever happens to be spewing forth from the pundits on any given day).

By and large, we're running short on critical thinking skills and common sense. Our diet is the least of our concerns.
Actually - I think that "we're running short on critical thinking skills and common sense" is a strong part of our national-weight issue.
 
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