Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Army Recruit Weight Loss Prep Schools


The Army has been dismissing so many overweight applicants that its top recruiter, trying to keep troop numbers up in wartime, is considering starting a fat farm to transform chubby trainees into svelte soldiers.

Many of the young people who want to join the Army have a hard time understanding a healthy diet and the importance of daily exercise, but could get within the military limits with guidance.

"It took them 18 years to get to where they are at, so it's very difficult for them to lose the kind of weight that they need to on their own,"

"I'd say that out of every 10 applicants that come in, probably three we couldn't take _ they are obese," said Sgt. Darryl Bogan, a recruiter in Columbia. An additional 20 percent to 30 percent of recruits are slightly overweight, but some can get the weight off, Bogan said.

Besides basic weight and height guidelines, Bogan said the Army uses body fat percentages and an aerobics test to determine whether recruits can withstand the rigors of basic training. Recruits must step up and down on a riser at a certain rate per minute, then perform some push-ups and sit-ups and have their heart rates measured.

One of Bogan's recruits, 18-year-old Idalia Halley, was shocked when she found she was a few pounds too heavy to enter boot camp.

"My mom was like, 'You better come run with me,'" Halley recalled, saying it took several weeks of healthy eating and runs with her Army-veteran mom to finally get into the service.

On her second try, Halley said she weighed in at 162 pounds and logged a 30 percent rate of body fat to meet the Army's standard.

Huffington Post: Army Recruit Weight Loss Prep Schools

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