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Obesity a Greater Threat to National Security than Homosexuality Obesity a Greater Threat to National Security than Homosexuality

Obesity a Greater Threat to National Security than Homosexuality

by Nicola Twilley
December 10, 2010

With the Senate still agonizing over the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," David Frum, political commentator and former economic speechwriter for President George W. Bush, wrote a CNN op-ed that contained this remarkable statistic:

In 2008, some 634 military personnel were discharged for transgressing "don't ask, don't tell." That same year, 4,555 were discharged for failing to meet military weight standards.

In other words, for every soldier deemed unfit to defend our nation due to openness about his sexual orientation, more than seven more are sent home for having a body fat percentage of over 26 percent. The conclusion is clear: Obesity is a greater threat to America's combat readiness than homosexuality.

So, as The New York Times columnist Mark Bittman suggests, "maybe we should put the latter issue to bed and get on to the former." Besides, just imagine the possibilities if food system reform became a defense spending priority...

Image courtesy of U.S. Army.

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