A new study conducted by the British Ministry of Defense has revealed that more than half of the soldiers in the army were overweight while one in 10 was obese.
The recently concluded Army Obesity Study found that nearly 45 percent of the soldiers were overweight while a further 12.1 percent were deemed to be obese. However though the report said that it could reduce the collective operational effectiveness of the army, the researchers said that the increase in weight does not necessarily mean that the soldiers were getting fatter and instead the army training meant that the muscle mass was increasing.
The study was led by Major Paul Sanderson who analyzed data from the Defence Analytical Services Agency which records more than 50,000 soldiers with just over 3,500 of them being females.
Major Sanderson found that 44.9 percent of the soldiers weighed over 13st 1lb while 12.1 percent of them were over 15st 10lbs and were termed to be severely obese. The report, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Istanbul, said that obesity was one of the main problems facing the armed forces though Major Sanderson said the report did not mean that the army was getting less fit.
"We are getting bigger but we are also getting stronger. Large and fit is the ideal person for us. They need to be able to carry a heavy load and be able to react to fire", Major Sanderson said.