Uncle Sam wants you -- to lose weight

The Armed Forces are fighting the battle of the bulge: 27 percent of all Americans aged 17 to 24 are too fat to join the military, according to a recent study titled "Too Fat to Fight." And retired generals have fingered a steady school-lunch diet of fried foods and oil-slicked pizza as the cause of this threat to national security.

The leading medical reason would-be soldiers are turned away at the door? They can hardly fit through the door. The problem is so widespread that the military is worried it won't be able to stock its barracks with qualified volunteers; recruiters might have to start hanging out at organic grocers to get fresh meat.

And so the military is now advocating spending $4.5 billion over the next ten years to bring schools up to healthy food standards -- and to trim down their students.

The Army is at the forefront of this effort to nip the problem in the butt, working with students to get them into military shape, says U.S. Army Recruiting Command's Mark Howell, who had to lose ten pounds before he was able to join.

So remember: If you're interested in serving your country, make sure you don't over-serve yourself in the buffet line.


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