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Thursday, July 08, 2004


Obesity Hits the Army

::Obesity is one big problem worldwide. Many of us just can't refrain from eating even when it is not good for us. Many of us just can't say "Tak Nak" whether it is that hamburger or cigarette or that KFC drumstick or that tub of ice-cream. As a result of which we get fat and obese. The warnings of the perils of obesity is all on the wall for us to see and there are diets galore. Read about the "Perils of Portliness". Surely all of us are aware but really what i want to touch on is the recent news about the way our MoD {MINIstry of Defence] is going to tackle this problem among its soldiers, the so-called "Shed fat and earn a Trip" programme.

The Deputy MoD has revealed that too many people in the armed forces were dying of illnesses related to diabetes, obesity and other diseases linked to a "modern" (sic) lifestyle. The armed forces chief Jen Tan Sri Mohd Zahidi Zainuddin is worried. Of the 1,488 soldiers who died over the past 10 years, 20% died of chronic illnesses, including cancer, obesity and obesity-related diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 55% of soldiers are known to smoke.

So the MoD has decided to come out with the following measures ::
1. Those above 40 should get annual medical check-ups, for early detection and immediate treatment of any disease
2. All army training institutions be made “no smoking” zones.
3. Reward the weight-losers with a holiday::the "Shed fat and earn a Trip" programme

If the MoD can only come up with the above, it is obviously to be found wanting. And to even think of No. 3, really and truly beats one's understanding. To reward those who are obesed and lose 10kg in 6 months with a paid holiday [so that they can put back the weight?] defies rational thinking. Why not reward those who are not overweight and are fighting fit and ready to safeguard the nation? The people in the armed forces have no business being overweight and not healthy, they are paid to be "lean and mean" and ever ready and ever healthy to serve their function.

While the MoD is at it, how about considering these measures too, forget about the paid holidays, the money can be better used ::
  • More vigorous exercise regimes for the soldiers
  • Ensure that armed forces food is in healthy composition and portions
  • Ban smoking in all facilities and for all personnel, top to bottom
  • Get the armed forces Health Services to embark on preventive health programmes
  • The top guns in the armed forces should lead by example :: remember "Kepimpinan neallui Teladan"
  • Make examples of those who are grossly overweight and give tghem the sack if they don't get lean and healthy after a given period of time.


These and other additional measures deemed suitable would probably get the soldiers up and fighting fit rather than the reward mentioned earlier.



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