February 25, 2009

Fat fighters

From the Australian Sunday Telegraph:

* 7500 of 53,000 Australian military are obese
* More than three times more than US military
* 104 were discharged last year for obesity
* The navy has the highest number of obese personnel, followed by the army and air force

Several years ago, the Australian navy vessel HMAS Melbourne was in Auckland Harbour for a visit, and as always when foreign sailors visit these shores, we did not miss the chance to go have a look. Not, of course, at the vessel, but the sailors on board. Who cares about hardware and guns and stuff when all that seafood is running around. We are classified as a friendly port after all.
I remember that life looked pretty comfy on board, judging by the number of surf board strapped to the funnel. But what really struck me was that the average weight of the sailor was way beyond my comfort zone. The on board galley must be serving supersized proportions, or they don't get enough physical exercise, but the obesity was pretty clear even 10 years ago.
As the Australian military man said in above newspaper article:
"The way the ship operates 24/7, they are either working or sleeping, they have access to good grub on board and the opportunity to exercise is limited."
Unfortunately, the New Zealand Navy boys have grown in weight too, in my estimation, looking at them swaggering on Queen Street on a Saturday night, trying to make the ferry back to Devonport. Maybe I need to alert Navy command that their finest are letting the side down.

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