SANDF too portly


Nearly 10% of the SA National Defence Force’s 60 000 personnel are overweight or obese, according to the findings of a provisional report that is being circulated among all army personnel, the Afrikaans daily Beeld reported this morning.

Percentages in the report are based on information gathered by the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) between April 2011 and March 2012. In an information bulletin widely circulated in the military, personnel are being cautioned that they face potentially life-threatening lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cardio-vascular issues if they do not slim down.

In addition, “the army can simply not be battle-ready with overweight soldiers. Everyone has to know that the fight against obesity is now official,” the report states. “fat soldiers cannot fight.”

The soldiers are being encouraged to visit dieticians and establish a healthy eating plan and lifestyle.

All members of the SAMHS have to be weighed before tomorrow, and the statistics will be used in future projects aimed at encouraging army personnel to become more streamlined.

The SAMHS report uses the World Health Organisation’s definition of body mass index (BMI), the SA Press Association noted.

Beeld adds the lifestyle diseases of the obese also have cost implications for the military are they have to treat the secondary illnesses.