HONOLULU, HI – Many young adults in Hawaii may not be able to join the military because of weight problems, according to a new report released by Mission: Readiness, a national security nonprofit group composed of more than 200 retired generals and admirals. These retired military leaders are concerned that a shrinking pool of eligible recruits is a threat to our national security.
Called Too Fat to Fight: A Brief on Hawaii, the report cites U.S. Department of Defense estimates that one in four young adults is too overweight to join the military. Weight problems have become the leading medical reason why young adults are unable to serve in the military. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using a wider definition than the military, found that over four out of ten young adults in Hawaii are either overweight or obese. That equals more than 46,000 young adults in the state. According to the report’s analysis of data from the CDC during the past 13 years, the number of states with 40 percent or more young adults considered overweight or obese has risen from one state to 40. Over this same period, Hawaii went from 33 percent overweight or obese to 42 percent.