Statement from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Regarding the Release of the Report "Still Too Fat to Fight" from Mission: Readiness

"The new report from Mission: Readiness calls for strong federal nutrition standards that would prohibit the sale of junk food in schools across the country. The widespread availability of junk food in our schools is a serious problem. It undermines the progress schools are making to offer healthier lunches and contributes to an epidemic that threatens our national health care system, economy, and security.

"Replacing the unhealthy snacks schools sell in vending machines, à la carte lines, and other venues with more nutritious options will help ensure a healthier diet for tens of millions of students. That’s why stronger standards for all school foods are so critically important.

"With this report, our nation’s retired military leaders confirm their role as strong advocates in the movement to prevent childhood obesity. They also caution that about 25 percent of young adults are too overweight for military service. That means many people who may want to serve are not even able to enlist.

"The Department of Defense has taken major steps to offer healthier foods in its schools, dining facilities, vending machines, and other places where service members and their families buy food on military bases. Our nation’s military leaders are calling on us—in government, education, industry, and other areas—to make strong, broad changes that will create healthier schools for our children. Together we can reverse the childhood obesity epidemic and offer this generation a healthier future."

James S. Marks, MD
Director, Health Group