Tracey Perez Koehlmoos, the director of the Center for Health Services Research at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland, has led research indicating that obesity is now rampant in the U.S. Army.
After gaining 30 pounds during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Murillo is finally getting back into fighting shape.
Early pandemic lockdowns, endless hours on his laptop and heightened stress led Murillo, 27, to reach for cookies and chips in the barracks at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Gyms were closed, organized exercise was out and Murillo’s motivation to work out on his own was low.
“I could notice it,” said Murillo, who is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed as much as 192 pounds. “The uniform was tighter.”
Murillo wasn’t the only service member dealing with extra weight. New research found that obesity in the U.S. military surged during the pandemic. In the Army alone, nearly 10,000 active duty soldiers developed obesity between February 2019 and June 2021, pushing the rate to nearly a quarter of the troops studied. Increases were seen in the U.S. Navy and the Marines, too.
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“The Army and the other services need to focus on how to bring the forces back to fitness,” said Tracey Perez Koehlmoos, director of the Center for Health Services Research at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland, who led the research.
Overweight and obese troops are more likely to be injured and less likely to endure the physical demands of their profession. The military loses more than 650,000 workdays each year because of extra weight and obesity-related health costs exceed $1.5 billion annually for current and former service members and their families, federal research shows.
The appointment of Mass General Hospital obesity doctor Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford to the DGAC suggests that Biden’s big government is collaborating with billion-dollar Big Pharma to shape the new obesity policy.
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