Overweight Man And Woman Standing Against White Background

The majority of U.S. service members are either fat or obese, according to a new study.

The New York Post, citing a report from the non-profit American Security Project, said about “68 percent of active-duty service members are overweight or have obesity,” which poses a “dire threat” to national security. 

The report said that obesity rates in the military doubled over the last decade. The study said military obesity rates increased from 10.4 percent in 2012 to 21.6 percent in 2022.

“At a time when we are struggling to recruit an adequate labor force for the military, the growing rates of obesity are especially alarming,” Matthew Wallin, chief operating officer of the American Security Project, said, according to The Military Times. “No person defending our country should find themselves unsupported and unequipped to fight a personal battle against obesity.”

TRENDPOST: Earlier this year, we reported that the Pentagon found that 77 percent of military-age Americans are too fat and drugged up to serve in the Armed Forces, which adds an additional strain on the country’s recruitment efforts.

The Pentagon’s 2020 Qualified Military Available Study of Americans identified weight as the most prevalent reason young people are disqualified at 11 percent. The report identified drug and alcohol abuse as the second most common reason for disqualification at 8 percent. (See “77 PERCENT OF YOUNG AMERICANS TOO FAT TO FIGHT” 28 Mar 2023, “TOO FAT TO FIGHT: U.S. ARMY TO CANCEL WEIGHT LIMITS FOR TROOPS AS RECRUITMENT NUMBERS PLUNGE” 18 Oct 2022, “THE AMERICAN WAY: FAT, DUMB, AND STUFFED WITH SANDWICHES” 21 Mar 2023, and “MORE THAN HALF OF HUMANITY WILL BE FAT, OBESE BY 2035” 7 Mar 2023.)

The City Journal noted that most branches of the military have tailored their fitness standards to meet the new realities of preparedness. For decades, the Army’s fitness test consisted of two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups, and a two-mile run. 

“The new standards are, well, different; the two-mile run remains, but soldiers have more than 21 minutes to complete it, and while “hand release” push-ups are still around, the minimum number required to pass is ten, with combat soldiers having to do only 30. The Air Force decided against replacing its 1.5 mile run with a one-mile walk, but it now lets airmen choose shorter, faster runs if they prefer,” the report said.

Only the Marine Corps hasn’t reduced its physical standards, the report said.

Skip to content