US military leaders point to schools in fat fight
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Former United States (US) military leaders have identified a latent threat to the potential for a leaner, more agile fighting force: the school vending machine.
In a report to be released on Tuesday, a group of 300 retired military officers said school-age children are eating 400 billion excess calories a year - the equivalent of 2 billion candy bars - from junk food sold in such machines as well as in snack bars and cafeterias that should be off-limits. Their 400 billion calories would weigh more than the US Navy's longest aircraft carrier, the 70,000-ton Midway, the report said.
Those extra calories from candy, chips and sugary drinks amount to about 130 calories a day, which over a student's school years can lead to extra pounds.
"The calories add up," the US generals and admirals said in their report, which calls for tougher standards on the snacks schools can sell. "While limiting the sale of junk food is not a solution by itself for the childhood obesity epidemic, it is part of the solution."