Passive conscientious objection

The german armed forces complain about obesity among young people

According to a confidential report of the ministry of defense to the bundestag, which was leaked to the hannoversche allgemeine zeitung, the bundeswehr is having increasing problems with recruiting new recruits. The reason given is not only the low birth rate, but also the increasing obesity.

In the light of this report, the most recent political plans for a "campaign against obesity", as the suddeutsche zeitung dubbed the campaigns for public health, a whole new dimension. Is obesity among young people being deliberately used as a means of destroying military strength, which could be countered with a powerful tax increase??

Opportunities and risks

At the muster the "top guideline" for men with a body size of between 1 meter 80 and 1 meter 84 and a weight of 97 kilograms – a very attainable figure. If it is exceeded, then the chances for a "bad" fitness level like 4 or 5 significant. Contrary to popular belief, other health conditions such as vision defects or allergies cannot be added to obesity. Instead, a doctor must determine a "unadjusted ability to perform" determine. A recruit is on the safe side if his weight exceeds 135 kilograms at the above-mentioned body size. How such a value can be achieved, conscripts learn since 1995 from the simpsons episode king-size homer, in which a deliberate weight gain is carried out planmabig, in order to be able to switch to online home work.

However, obesity increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, this is offset by the avoidance of possible hearing and liver damage, thrombosis, sports injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder – not to mention the direct risk of death from accidents and from locals in the areas of operations abroad who are less than enthusiastic about the presence of troops. From this point of view, it is possible to speak of a dialectic of health restrictions: allergies reduce the risk of cancer, herpes can protect against food poisoning, according to a study appearing this week in the journal nature – and being sufficiently overweight protects against health risks in the armed forces.

Statistically, the chance of withdrawal is more than one third: in 2005, a total of 345.839 persons were called up. 211.341 or 61.1% were found to be "eligible for military service" and 108.793 or 31.4% were considered "not fit for military service" classified. Another 25.759 (7.5%) conscripts were considered by the district recruiting offices to be "temporarily ineligible for military service". Another factor contributing to the high rate of withdrawals from service was the fact that fitness level 3 ("fit for use with restrictions in basic training and for certain activities") to the 1. The military service was cancelled on october 2004 and the health restrictions for this classification have since been sufficient for withdrawal from service. Taking this change into account, it becomes clear that the criteria can be corrected in the other direction in the event of a serious shortage of personnel.

However, the lamented shortage of new recruits in the bundeswehr concerns less conscripts than regular and professional soldiers. A study published a few weeks ago suggests that problems in recruiting new recruits in these groups are not primarily related to obesity and the low birth rate, but above all to foreign deployments, in which 65 soldiers have lost their lives so far. Remarkably, however, this point remains completely undiscussed in the defense ministry’s report.

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