A leaked memo has exposed concerns about rising levels of obesity among British soldiers. The memo from Major Brian Dupree, of the Army physical training corps in Wiltshire, said basic fitness policy ‘is not being carried out’. Soliders are expected to complete between 2-3 hours of physical exercise a week, but this does not seem to be happening in practice.
The memo continues: ‘The numbers of personnel unable to deploy and concerns about obesity throughout the Army are clearly linked to current attitudes towards physical training.’
There are 3,860 Army personnel classified as PUD – personnel unable to deploy – with a further 8,190 regarded as being of ‘limited deployability’ for medical reasons, it was reported. The number we do not know, are the additional troops operating overseas who are overweight, and who may be compromising their ability to perform in the field.
However, this is not just a UK phenomenon. The US military has turned away 48,000 overweight recruits since 2005, more than all the American troops fighting in Afghanistan.