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British Army Obesity Threatens More Than Just Being Fit to Fight!

01/07/2014 13:29 BST | Updated 30/08/2014 10:59 BST

"An army marches on its stomach" This is a very famous quote attributed to Napoleon and Frederick the Great but it was equally well recognized by many other great leaders throughout history. One of such was Alexander the Great who made it part of his battle strategy that he and his men would loot the finest food for his army as they travelled from region to region, ravaging the globe.

Ancient Rome, for much of its history, depended upon Egypt for grain. While the Romans considered themselves to be an agricultural nation, and paid great homage to farming in literature, poetry, and art, they were nevertheless just not that good at growing quality food and feeding themselves. Still they knew Egypt controlled the finest wheat fields in the world and Egyptian exports accounted for fully a third of the 16.8 million bushels of grain brought to Rome.

At that time whoever controlled Egypt could literally starve the world of good nutrition. All of this then makes the state of the British army in the 21st Century very perplexing. More than 22,000 members of the armed forces were found to be overweight and unfit said a report in The Sunday Times 22nd June. The Army routinely feed them cooked, full breakfasts and serves chips at both lunch and dinner. So, 'blobby' soldiers with big tummies who are proven unfit to do their job (which involves being able to fight at the frontline of conflict at any time) are allowed to remain in the forces and worse, to still be paid to be part of the fighting unit that they are so obviously not? Discipline is meant to be the backbone of the British Forces and while the Army can't be expected to create a team of 'Rambo's' they surely must be compelled to maintain a measure of physical fighting ability you would think!?! It is totally unacceptable! As if this isn't bad enough, those of us who know about nutrition are aware of how poor diet can affect behaviour too.

A study in 2005 published in The American Journal of Psychiatry stated that, "Lack of basic nutrition creates generation of criminals; prison system society" The study showed children between the ages of eight and 17 years, who suffered certain nutritional deficiencies and ate mainly sugary 'junk' foods demonstrated a shocking 41% increase in aggression at age eight. At age 17, they demonstrated a 51% increase in violent and antisocial behaviors.

Four primary nutrients were tried in the study: Zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein. Malnourished children weren't getting crucial minerals like zinc and iron, and they weren't getting the B vitamins they needed to develop healthy nervous systems. And a healthy nervous system is a prerequisite for mental and emotional health and stability. Indeed, as far back as 1979 the connection between consumption of poor food and behaviour were being bought to the forefront of criminal knowledge and understanding. Dan White, a former San Francisco building supervisor shot and killed The Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. At his trial the defense team pointed out that prior to the killings White had eaten a Twinkie bar (a kind of cake) and that whenever White ate sugar he became temporarily insane. Finding that hard to swallow? Well, it doesn't matter because they proved it to the jury and that got White's murder charge reduced to manslaughter.

The link between bad or even criminal behaviour and poor nutrition has long been established as fact and several experiments with prison inmates has shown indisputable behaviour improvements when they consumed fresh fish, fruit and vegetables than burgers, French fries and ice cream sundae. Why oh, why then would the men who are allegedly intelligent enough to be responsible for the defense of the people of the UK not be aware of this and feed their Military crap? They need to be made aware that not only will their soldiers be fat and unfit but may well have diminished mental capacity and a increased tendency to uncontrolled violence. Makes you wonder a little more about all of those war crimes committed by British forces in Afghanistan and Iraq doesn't it?