Military Mess Halls Turn Fighters Into Fatties

Julie Ryan Evans

military mess hall The men and women in our nation's military have some of the most important jobs in this country, and their bodies are key to them doing their jobs. They go through countless camps and trainings to ensure they're ready to fight the necessary fights and endure the extreme levels of exertion to meet any challenge they face. So why is it we're serving them up some of the fattiest,  most unhealthy food to be found?

That's right, the men and women fighting for our country are ingesting foods that could have them fighting for their lives over time. According to an article on Slate, most military mess halls in this country are filled with nutritional messes of fat, sugar, and salt. Endless batches of French fries, pizza, chocolate milk, and desserts galore are laid out as fuel for our fighters. Where's Jamie Oliver when we really need him?

Their spouses and families worry enough about their lives being on the line, they shouldn't have to worry about their arteries and cholesterol levels too.

Not only does the fatty food cause the soldiers to bulk up, but it can get them booted from their jobs too when they don't meet weight requirements. Slate points to a 2007 report that found excess weight costs the military $105.6 million in annual productivity costs. That's a pretty steep price to pay for fries.

The good news is efforts are being made to improve meals in some mess halls. The Army has rolled out a new "Solider Athlete" program in five bases around the country where basic trainings take place. It bans things like soda and dessert and instead offers more healthy whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Sounds perfect.

No one is saying these men and women don't deserve occasional indulgences, and there are plenty of fast-food joints littering most military bases for soldiers to get a fix here and there. But when it comes to tax dollars and the example we want these leaders to provide for other Americans, then it's time to clean things up, now.

Do you think the food we serve our nation's military should be made healthier, or should we let them have their fries?

Image via West Point Public Affairs/Flickr

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