Mission: Readiness, a non-profit organization of senior retired military leaders, has issued a second report claiming that one in four young adults are still “too overweight to enlist.” Titled “Still Too Fat to Fight,” the latest report alleges that U.S. students “consume almost 400 billion calories from junk food sold at schools each year.” It also cites data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting that efforts to improve school nutrition in New York City, Philadelphia and other cities have led to decreased childhood obesity rates in those areas.

Building on its 2010 call-to-action, Mission: Readiness is urging schools and governments to consider limiting the sale of competitive foods in campus vending machines and cafeterias. “Removing the junk food from our schools should be part of nationwide comprehensive action that involves parents, schools, and communities in helping students build stronger bodies with less excess fat,” states the report, which calls on Congress to take bipartisan steps to ensure access to more nutritious, lower-fat, lower-calorie food at schools. “We need action to ensure that America’s child obesity crisis does not become a national security crisis.” Additional details about the first report appear in Issue 346 of this Update.