Almost 18,000 people in British armed forces are clinically obese, figures show

The figures have been revealed by the Ministry of Defence
The figures have been revealed by the Ministry of Defence

THOUSANDS of members of the British armed forces are ‘clinically obese', new figures have highlighted.

Statistics acquired via a Freedom of Information (FoI) request show there were 8,662 obese soldiers in the army, 4,666 in the Royal Navy and 4,274 in the Royal Air Force as of July, 2018.

Additionally more than 30,000 troops are considered to be overweight, based on the body composition measure (BCM).

BCM is a measurement used by the Ministry of Defence – which divulged the stats – comprising body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference as BMI does not differentiate between muscle mass and body fat. 

The figures also show 398 troops have type 2 diabetes, 160 personnel have been prescribed diet pills and 16 have been given liposuction.

An MoD spokeswoman said: ‘Our personnel are required to pass our challenging fitness tests, and those who do not pass are provided with diet and fitness support, in order to reach and maintain a healthy weight.’

The military said if personnel fail a fitness test, they are put on a targeted programme to help them back to the required levels.

The FoI request was lodged by the Mail on Sunday.