A little note in the New York Times today reports that a group of retired military officers, working as Mission: Readiness, considers our national swell toward obesity a national security threat. More than a quarter of all young people are, simply, too fat to fight.
If the idea that obesity–and the industrial food system that drives it–imperils the national defense, we might actually see some action. Exhibit A is the federal highway system, instituted in the 1950s as a national security measure (people needed a way to escape bombed-out sites–not that the highways were that helpful during an actual emergency such as Hurricane Katrina).
As a nation we are apparently willing to undertake huge, life- and earth-changing measures as part of our national defense. Making obesity a factor in defense is a terrific first step. Now we need the generals to note that an undereducated population is also a threat to national defense.