Still Too Fat to Fight: New Studies Examine the Growing Impact of Obesity on U.S. Military Recruitment

Article ID: 594071

Released: 25-Sep-2012 10:30 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Cornell University

Newswise — John Cawley, professor of policy analysis and management and co-director of the Institute on Health Economics at Cornell University, has published two new studies finding a growing number of military-aged Americans are too obese to join the military.

Unfit For Service: The Implications of Rising Obesity For U.S. Military RecruitmentHealth Economics, November 2012https://cornell.box.com/healtheconomics

- As of 2007-2008, 5.7 million men and 16.5 million women exceeded the Army’s enlistment standards for weight and body fat.

- From 1959 to 2008, the percentage of military-age adults ineligible for enlistment because they are overweight more than doubled for men and tripled for women.

- The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for military recruitment and defense policy.

The Consequences of Rising Youth Obesity For U.S. Military Academy AdmissionsApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy, December 2012https://cornell.box.com/AEPP

- Between 1959 and 2010, African-American women were 13-percent more likely to exceed weight standards than white women, representing a challenge to the military, which strives for a racially- diverse officer corps.

- Simulations indicate that further respective increases in weight and fat of just one percent would result in an ineligibility increase of 16.5 percent for men, and a 10.9 percent increase for women for admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

- The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for military recruitment and defense policy.

Contact Syl Kacapyr for information about Cornell's TV and radio studios.


Comment/Share





Chat now!