House must act now on child nutrition
Here is some good news: With strong leadership from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), the Senate recently unanimously passed a child nutrition bill that could help make our children healthier and our nation stronger.
The bill not only would take the steps needed to remove junk food from our school cafeterias and enable millions of children to develop healthier eating habits, but it would also help address a serious problem in military recruiting.
Consider this: As many as 9 million young adults – 27 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds — are too overweight or obese to join the military. Weight problems have become the leading medical reason why young people cannot enlist in the military. In Georgia, more than 43 percent of young adults are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a retired general, I have joined more than 150 retired military leaders in urging Congress to improve nutrition in our schools as a necessary step to reduce obesity and increase the pool of qualified candidates for military service. As ranking member of the Senate committee that wrote the legislation, Sen. Chambliss deserves a salute for his leadership and bipartisan approach to this critical issue.
Retired military leaders are now calling on the House to move quickly next month and approve child nutrition legislation. Congress must send a final bill to the President before the current law expires at the end of September.
Major General Jack C. Wheeler, US Army (Ret.)