The Pentagon’s New Math

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Army photo / Timothy L. Hale

Soldiers get ready for a run at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Defense Department’s abacuses are falling apart as their beads are whipped up and down trying to keep up with the impact of sequestration.

It’s driving the bean-counters crazy.

But dollars apparently aren’t the only numbers in flux.

On Friday, the Military Health System issued a statement declaring that Service Members Surpass Most Federal Health Goals.

But you had to read down a ways to stumble upon this gem:

Across all age groups, 54% of military men and 34% of military women were classified as overweight. However, officials explained that those numbers were inflated because the federal body mass index does not account for muscle mass. As a result, the survey assumes “considerable miscalculation of muscular individuals,” the report says.

Apparently, Pentagon fat isn’t limited to gold-plated weapons, logistical lard and Beltway bandits.

BerntsenG 1 Like

True, the military is dealing with more overweight soldiers than 10 or 20 years ago, thanks to Americans living a more sedentary lifestyle but the broader issue truly is that the BMI does not account for the body types that most soldiers now have.  A 5ft 10 inches a soldier who weights 190lbs is considered overweight, when in reality he may be extremely muscular. I've seen dozens of "overweight" soldiers get perfect scores on their physical evaluations. 


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