School lunches: The real threat?

Watch out, taco Tuesdays: A group of retired military officers has declared school lunches a national security threat, the Associated Press reports.

According to the one-time officers, the nation’s cafeteria food has been partly responsibly for the growing obesity epidemic — which by extension hampers military recruitment when youth fail to meet physical fitness standards. A new report claims that 27 percent of all Americans aged 17 to 24 — more than 9 million people — are too fat to enter the U.S. armed forces.

“When over a quarter of young adults are too fat to fight,” says retired Navy Rear Adm. James Barnett Jr., one of the officers, “we need to take notice.”

The Mission: Readiness group hopes to convince legislators of the need to ban junk food and sodas in schools. A school lunch bill pending in the Senate would earmark $4.5 billion in additional funding for nutritional programs.

“This is the future of our Army we are looking at when we talk about these 17- to 24-year-olds,” says U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s Mark Howell.