Veterans issue marching orders to get kids in shape |

Veterans issue marching orders to get kids in shape

Troy Wilde
Nevada News Service

CARSON CITY — A group of retired military leaders says it’s a matter of national security to improve the health and education of children.

Mission: Readiness is a group of some 400 retired senior military leaders, including U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Denny Schulstad.

“And what we are trying to do is encourage young people to, number one, get a good education,” he explained. “Stay out of trouble with the law and stay in some reasonable physical shape so that you are eligible to join the military.”

Schulstad said the growing number of young people who are overweight or obese is of great concern to the military because many potential recruits are not healthy enough to enlist.

Schulstad said one way to reverse the trend and help get children moving toward a healthier lifestyle is promote and support programs that help provide them with safe routes to school.

“Today only 13 percent of the young people either ride their bike or walk to school,” he points out. “We would like very much to see that number increase because that is a very easy way to encourage kids to get outside, to walk, to run, to ride their bicycles.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over the past 30 years obesity among adolescents has quadrupled.