Fighting fit? The new Heavy Brigade

Seems it’s not just us civilians who are getting bigger and more obese.

More than 25,000 British military personnel have been diagnosed as obese in the last 4 years. That’s several battalions!

There is now an “obesity working group” looking into the problem and devising ways to keep people fitter and increase  their knowledge of how to eat more healthily.

A spokesman for the National Obesity Forum said; “These people have got plenty of time to keep in shape and I think it’s a responsibility to feed them properly and give them any amount of time to do exercises and keep themselves in shape”.

obstacle_course_boot_camp_1600_wht_11454Soldiers are supposed to have carefully managed fitness routines involving at least four 1-hour sessions of PT a week.

They can also have a diet ranging from 1,500 to 7,000 calories a day depending on their duties. Clearly not everyone is following the exercise routine or eating healthily.

As one senior officer was quoted as saying; “There are obese soldiers in just about every regiment in the British Army and no unit is immune. It’s also a reflection of the quality of food served in some army cookhouses. Unless the armed forces changes the way it feeds its personnel you will have a problem”.

Of course there are statistics and statistics! The number had been calculated using the much disputed body mass index (BMI)  and the obesity cut-off point of 30.

The MoD rightly points out that this can be misleading as “it doesn’t differentiate between body fat and muscle and says individuals are assessed on their ability to carry out military activities rather than on their weight”.

It’s not just the Brits. It wasn’t that long ago that 40% of the German Army was considered overweight and in 2012 the American Army dismissed over 1,600 soldiers for excess body weight, a 15- fold increase on the figures in 2007.



Which body shape do you prefer in the opposite sex?

Well it depends on how hungry you are, according to researchers at the University of Westminster.

stick_woman_gymnastics_1600_wht_12994Hungry men have a preference for the fuller figure, especially women with large busts, compared with men who have just eaten.

stick_figure_flexing_1600_wht_2005Previous research showed that women prefer heavier, more muscular, men when they are hungry and less muscular men once they’ve eaten.

So women with slimmer figures or less muscular men should probably only meet their dates after they’ve eaten!

The researcher said that our brains evolved to interpret body size as an indicator of food availability. “If you are hungry you want resources and a partner who has resources. Someone who is heavier has access to food”. Research in Malaysia found that men from lower economic classes preferred bigger-breasted women than those from wealthier backgrounds.

The Times newspaper which reported this suggested it might be why NigellaLawson is so popular with hungry men.