Friday, June 20, 2014


The Senate Agriculture Committee is set to hold a series of hearings as it begins its effort to reauthorize the nation’s child nutrition programs.  In a recent op-ed piece, Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow positioned child nutrition as a national security and cost-benefit issue. About 27% of all Americans between the ages of 17 and 24, she wrote, are too overweight to serve in the military, and the proportion of recruits who failed physical exams between 1995 and 2008 (because they were overweight) rose by nearly 70%. The military discharges approximately 1,200 new recruits every year because of weight issues, costing it approximately $90 million to replace them. The nation spends an estimated $14 billion a year to treat obesity and preventable, weight-related diseases in children — more than $190 billion if you also count adults. The military’s TRICARE system shells out about $1 billion annually to treat the same diseases.

Source: The Hill, 6/11/14, Child Nutrition Bill

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