Nearly 1/3 Young Adults Too Fat For Military

A new report from a group of retired military leaders says the nation’s obesity epidemic is causing significant recruiting problems for the military. One in three young adults nationwide is too fat to enlist.

The report released Wednesday by a group calling itself Mission: Readiness is promoting healthy school lunches to combat the problem. It notes 29 percent of teenagers in Kansas are overweight.

Obesity is among the leading causes of military ineligibility among people ages 17 to 24. Others are a lack of adequate education, a criminal history or drug use.

All those put together mean 71 percent of Kansans are ineligible for military service.

The military has also seen a 61 percent rise in obesity since 2002 among active duty forces, driving up health care and other costs.