Obesity Keeps Out Recruits, Raising Medical Costs For MilitaryThe Fiscal Times reports that the U.S. military every year discharges more than 1,200 enlistees before their contracts are over because of weight problems. "The cost of recruiting and training all their replacements? A hefty $50,000 per person - or roughly $60 million a year." A nonprofit group of senior military leaders recently released a report that claimed weight problems are the leading medical reason recruits are rejected for service in the military.
"According to a 2007 article in the American Journal of Health Promotion, the Department of Defense spends more than $1.1 billion annually for medical care associated with excess weight and obesity. ... In this difficult economy, the challenges facing the military have implications for the rest of the country. 'Where's the money going to come from to take care of all the sick people we're going to have?' says Sandra Hassink, M.D., director of the weight management clinic at the Nemours/Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware" (Liebenson, 6/23). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.