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Members of the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade practice   during the combined Lithuanian-U.S. training exercise at the Gaiziunai Training Area some 110 kms (69 miles) west of the capital Vilnius Lithuania, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

The US military is fatter than it's ever been

If I have someone who is classified as clinically obese, they are potentially going to be a liability for me on that patrol.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell

The Pentagon released data regarding how many of its troops were overweight for the first time in 15 years.

That data reveals a record percentage of the U.S. military is overweight,  according to Military Times. The percentage has jumped from 1.6 percent in 2001 to 7.8 percent in 2016. 

Highlights from the data:

  • 10.3 percent of female troops were listed as overweight, compared to 7.4 percent of men
  • Health-related roles were more likely to be overweight than combat roles, but 6.7 percent of combat troops were still listed as overweight
  • Black troops (10 percent) and other minorities (7.8 percent) were more likely to be overweight than white troops (7.2 percent)
  • If that looks bad for the military, consider that 70 percent of American adults are overweight or obese, according to the CDC

Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell said he believes troops are still combat-ready.
"We really have to look across our services at what we're doing every morning or every day to prepare the men and women for what could be the worst day of their life," he said. 

Dr. Terry Adirim, a health-services official in the Pentagon, said the increase was partially due to doctors being more aware of obesity. Troxell also pointed out war has changed; the more deliberate pace of most battles now demands less cardio training.

Should the military focus more on reducing obesity?

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