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Obesity a growing concern in the Australian army

Monday, March 02, 2009 Posted by Travis Saunders
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In our first podcast, Peter and I discussed the recent increase in obesity rates within the American armed forces. However, it appears that this issue is not confined to the US. For example, a recent article from Australia's Sunday Mail reports that roughly 14% of the country's 53,000 troops are classified as obese. As a part of the Sunday Mail piece, they interviewed a corporal who was being threatened with discharge due to his weight. Since that original piece, the corporal has been charged with three counts by the Australian Defense Force for speaking to the media without permission from his superiors. Although the charges are not yet known, one would not think this would help his chances remaining with the Forces.

The story of the corporal is detailed here, in a follow-up piece in the Sunday Mail. Interestingly, the Sunday Mail reports that since the first article was published on Feb 21, they have received several messages from Forces personnel deploring the quality of food available to personnel. In recent years the Australian Forces have also changed their recruitment guidelines to allow individuals with BMI's of up to 33 to enlist (well above the cut-off of 30 which denotes obesity), which one would expect to also contribute a great deal to this increase in obesity rates among Forces personnel. Just one more reminder of how the obesity epidemic is influencing every aspect of society.


(To listen to our podcast discussing obesity rates in the US army, you can click on the media player on the upper right-hand corner of our blog itself, or subscribe through iTunes by clicking here.)

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We are PhD students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Our research focuses on the relationships between obesity, physical activity, and health risk. This blog is our attempt to consider the many "cures" for obesity that we read about on a daily basis. Enjoy.


The opinions expressed here belong only to Peter and Travis and do not reflect the views of any organization. Any medical discussion on this page is intended to be of a general nature only. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem you should consult your own physician for advice specific to your own situation.

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