- Read the Program Results Brief: A New Front for Retired Admirals and Generals: Childhood Obesity
The report, Still Too Fat to Fight, shows that students in the United States consume almost 400 billion calories from high-calorie, low-nutrient foods sold at school each year. The authors based the analysis on data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2005.
The authors note that selling junk food at school contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic and seriously undermines efforts to teach children about the importance of a healthy diet. The report calls for the federal government to update nutrition standards for competitive foods, those sold outside of school meals, through vending machines, à la carte lines, snack bars, and other venues.
The report also presents trends that affect national security, including rising rates of overweight and obesity among young adults. According to the report, about 25 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds are too overweight for military service and the Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion per year on medical care for weight-related health problems.