77% of young Americans too fat, mentally ill, on drugs and more to join military, Pentagon study finds

Christopher Kirkman:

“When considering youth disqualified for one reason alone, the most prevalent disqualification rates are overweight (11 percent), drug and alcohol abuse (8 percent), and medical/physical health (7 percent),” the Pentagon’s 2020 Qualified Military Available Study of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 read. 

Several key findings were noted in the summary of the report. For example, most ineligible youth (44 percent) are disqualified for multiple reasons rather than in only one area.

Among those ineligible for only one reason, being overweight was the highest disqualification, at 11 percent. Drug use (8 percent), medical/physical only (7 percent) and mental health only (4 percent) were the other leading categories found in the study.

The largest increases in disqualification estimates observed between 2013 and 2020 were for mental health and overweight conditions. Another key finding was that the proportion of youth both eligible and not currently enrolled in college was only 12 percent.