Will Obesity Put an End to War?
Wow, now that sounds pretty crazy right? But last week’s headlines were too absurd to ignore as they featured the possibility that obesity might deter war! So how is that possible? Well, first off there’s our top army brass declaring that US youngsters are too fat to fight. John Shalikashvili and Hugh Shelton, both former chairmen of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in the Washington Post that, “Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military. We consider this problem so serious from a national security perspective that we have joined more than 130 other retired generals, admirals and senior military leaders in calling on Congress to pass new child nutrition legislation.”
Take that Jamie Oliver. Bet you didn’t think by Food Revolution you were getting those young Virginians ready to fight in some future global war. What the Holistic Moms could not accomplish after years of trying, a few well-chosen words from the military commanders could soon have the school cafeterias serving brown rice and vegetables for breakfast. According to the generals this “fat crisis can rule out more potential military service recruits than any other medical factor.” I can understand that, I mean why waste a young life languishing at home on the couch eating a corn dog when he can lose his life fighting in some foreign country protecting our right to consume more goods.
No disrespect to the many fit young men and women fighting to protect us for some reason we’re no longer sure about, but THEN, get this, Michelle Obama comes along and very eloquently launches a campaign to eradicate childhood obesity. Our first lady, painfully aware that one in three children in the US are overweight or obese (Holy moly, batman!) has stated that this issue threatens America’s future. The president, who we know happens to be her husband, has asked Congress for an additional 1 billion dollars to fund school nutrition programs!
But wait, there’s more, and this is my favorite quote, the BBC’s Steve Kingstone in Washington says, one in six children in the US is considered obese and today’s children are predicted to live shorter lives than their parents. OK, whew, first let’s get the statistics right. Is it one in three or one in six? And will they die young from obesity or in a brutal war, when they could be home building community and contributing to a country that was once considered a great nation?
Now, let’s see if I got this straight. Since more than a quarter of young Americans are presently too fat to fight in a military war, Congress should appropriate 1 billion dollars to improve school meals, so that obesity can be reduced, and America will then have enough recruits to fight future wars designed to protect American corporations, er, uh, sorry, democracy. Alrighty then. It appears that it is not enough to feed our children the highest quality foods just to keep them healthy, but now that we are short on military soldiers, by all means appropriate those billions and let’s get started making America some strong fighting machines.