A U.S. Army internal health review found the majority of soldiers were injured at least once a year and that nearly 80,000 were so overweight that they were classified as clinically obese.
The report (pdf) by the Army surgeon general’s office said 55% of soldiers were diagnosed with an injury in 2014. It also reported that 180,000 active-duty soldiers had at least one musculoskeletal injury per year, resulting in more than 10 million limited-duty days, according to Army Times. These types of injuries account for 76% of the Army’s medically non-deployable population. About 102,500 soldiers, including active duty, National Guard and Army Reserve, are currently non-deployable, representing 10% of the total Army.
The report said 78,000 active-duty soldiers, or 13% of the force, were clinically obese based on them having a body mass index of 30 or higher. “These soldiers also are less likely to be medically ready to deploy,” Michelle Tan wrote at Army Times. About 13% of male soldiers were classified as obese, compared to 8% of women.
A mission readiness report cited in the health study drew a correlation between a soldier’s weight and injuries. “The obese service members in the brigade in Afghanistan were 40% more likely to experience an injury than those with a healthy weight, and slower runners were 49% more likely to be injured.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley
To Learn More:
Army Report Shows Soldiers Lack Sleep, Struggle to Eat Right (by Michelle Tan, Army Times)
Health of the Force (U.S. Army) (pdf)