Unfit recruits are to blame for their injuries, U.S. Army chief says

Poor eating habits, carbonated drinks contribute to injuries

U.S. Army recruits are in worse shape than those in previous generations, and are suffering more injuries from the heavier loads they’re lugging into combat, Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey told a Senate panel on Wednesday. He pointed to poor eating habits and carbonated drinks as a risk factor for musculoskeletal injuries like fractures, tendinitis and connective tissue disorders (not combat injuries), a leading cause of medical evacuations from Iraq and Afghanistan, Reuters reports. Troops’ heavy combat load is another concern, and the Army’s trying to lighten boots, helmets, rifle opticals, and other equipment. But part of the problem is simply that soldiers aren’t as fit as they used to be, he said.


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