World
'Too fat to fight': thousands of British soldiers overweight
Publish Date: Jun 22, 2014
'Too fat to fight': thousands of British soldiers overweight
New figures suggest that British army soldiers might be getting a little soft
  • mail
  • img
newvision

LONDON - The British army has a global reputation for efficiency and performance, but new figures published on Sunday suggest that its soldiers might be getting a little soft.

More than 32,000 soldiers failed a basic fitness test at some point in the past three years, and more than 22,000 were found to be overweight and at risk of health problems, according to Ministry of Defence figures.

All soldiers in the British army are required to complete a personal fitness assessment twice a year, and those who fail must retake the test within seven days. Multiple failures could result in being discharged.

Men under the age of 29 must complete 44 press-ups in two minutes, followed by 50 sit-ups in two minutes, and a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometre) run within 10.5 minutes.

Women have a slightly easier test, with 21 press-ups, 50 sit-ups and 13 minutes in which to complete the run, while the rules are relaxed for older soldiers.

According to the figures obtained by the Sunday Times newspaper, 29,600 men and 2,819 women failed their fitness tests between April 2011 and March 2014.

"This figure represents 11 percent of the army serving in that period and many of those who failed will have subsequently passed their fitness test," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

"All personnel are provided with the support and training necessary to meet the army's physical standards, with additional help for those personnel who fail to meet this criteria.

"Personnel who remain unable to meet the standard could ultimately be discharged."

The Sunday Times also revealed that more than 22,000 troops were found to be at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease because they were so unfit.

In a story headlined "Too fat to fight," the newspaper quoted one senior officer who blamed the "appalling diet" of many troops.

"While soldiers can have salads and low-calorie meals, they can also have a cooked breakfast, followed by chips at lunch and chips at dinner and a stodgy pudding, too," the officer said.

The figures on fitness do not include those injured in Iraq and Afghanistan or those recovering from illness or training injuries, the newspaper said.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Heavily armed gunmen freed some 300 inmates from a prison in eastern Congo on Saturday...
Ebola is
Aid agency Oxfam said Ebola could become the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation", as US President Barack Obama urged against "hysteria" in the face of the growing crisis....
Ebola death toll shoots past 4,500 mark
THE death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak has shot past 4,500, killing at least half of the more than 9,000 people infected...
Berlusconi paid for sex,he didn
Italy's former prime minister Sivlio Berlusconi did have sex with an exotic dancer nicknamed "Ruby the Heart Stealer"...
Obama authorizes reservists for Ebola fight in W.Africa
President Barack Obama on Thursday authorized the Pentagon to send reservists to take part in a US mission to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa....
Liberia minister quarantined after driver dies of Ebola
A Liberian minister has gone into quarantine voluntarily after her driver died of the Ebola virus sweeping west Africa...
Should gov't supply condoms to hotels and bars?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter