“Freedom Fries” A Threat to National Security

Nov 6, 2009

When I make the connection between health and national security in my classes, we usually talk about pandemics or bio-warfare. But check this out: a new study from the Army Times tells us that unhealthy diets also drastically reduce America’s military readiness.

Turns out 35% of young Americans between the ages of 18-24 are unfit to serve in the military because they’re too fat, up from 6% 20 years ago. Noah Schactman has more.

Is this any surprise, really?

Perhaps the US government should declare a global war on cholesterol in the name of national security. Only instead of using unmanned drones to target those freedom-hating global corporations who market high-fat meals to our kids, perhaps DHS could just team up with USDA to get fresh fruits and vegetables into our public schools, and pop / candy machines (and fast-food propaganda) out. Updating the USDA’s definition of “junk food” would be a start. Clearly, the safety of our shores depends on it!

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.