Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Army: Fat, Weak, and Can't Run

This is pretty depressing.

I was hoping the Army would help get us out of this dietary and exercise mess.  But it looks like they've been poisoned by "Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats", to borrow Sally Fallon's phrase.  (I thought that phrase was a bit over the top when I first read it.  Now I don't.)

Here are a few choice excerpts from the Times piece linked to above:

"“What we were finding was that the soldiers we’re getting in today’s Army are not in as good shape as they used to be,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who oversees basic training for the Army. “This is not just an Army issue. This is a national issue.”...

"Another study found that at one training center in 2002, 3 recruits suffered stress fractures of the pubic bone, but last year the number rose to 39. The reason, General Hertling said: not enough weight-bearing exercise and a diet heavy on sugared sodas and energy drinks but light in calcium and iron....

"There are fewer situps, different kinds of push-ups and fewer long runs, which Army officials say are good for building strength and endurance but often lead to injuries. They also do not necessarily prepare soldiers for carrying heavy packs or sprinting short distances.

"“We haven’t eliminated running,” General Hertling said. “But it’s trying to get away from that being the only thing we do.” (The new system does include plenty of sprinting.)...

"Under General Hertling, the new regimen will also include a makeover of the mess halls at its training bases. At Fort Jackson, there are more green leafy vegetables, less fried food, and milk instead of soda. The food line includes color-coded messages to encourage privates to eat low-fat entrees (marked in green)....

"The trick now will be to push the program into the rest of the Army, where evidence suggests many soldiers are becoming overweight, particularly during or soon after deployments....

"“We know kids today are less fit,” Mr. Palkoska said. “We have to adjust.”"
Read the whole thing, and try not to weep.