Indian Army- World’s Third Largest Army is Battling with Obesity

Shocked by the rising obesity level in the Army ranks, which is causing “embarrassment” to the uniform, Army Headquarters has now come up with much stringent rules and guidelines in this regard, which are linked to individual’s career growth to even barring officer from foreign or important postings and assignments.

Claiming Service in the Army requires a high level of physical fitness, Army headquarters in an internal note sent to all its Commands and Units across the country has made it clear that despite existing instructions/ advisories on physical training and fitness as well as on obesity, the trend is on the ‘increase’.

“ This issue has serious ramifications not only affecting combat readiness but also leading to avoidable ailments resulting in reduced life span in addition to public embarrassment due to slovenly appearance in uniform,” according to an internal note circulated by Army Headquarters here in capital.

So, with an aim to check obesity trend in the army, several measures have been advised to be taken to empower the Command channel for detecting and controlling cases of obesity in their respective Commands.

Army headquarters under the head of Obesity Evaluation Examinationwrites that while writing the annual confidential report, the supervising officer needs to be vested with the responsibility of referring cases wherein the individual is overweight, which is more than 10% variation from Ideal Body Weight (IBW), to medical authorities for examination.  Moreover, the Initiating Officer( the person who write the Annual confidential report) of his junior will record the actual ideal weight in the confidential report instead of a present existing system wherein the onus lies on the individual just to endorse his present medical category.

Making it clear that not only the obese person, directives says that even his senior officer will be held responsible for oversight.

“In case where the individual is found to be obese and the same has not been observed by his immediate superior officer, that superior will be required to justify the lapse,” army note making it clear.

Moreover, directives also maintained that distinguish service award citation will not be progressed in the case of an obese person.  In fact, it has now been advised that full-length front and side profile photographs of an individual need to be pasted on the confidential report.

“This would act as an enabler for officers in the channel of reporting to make their own assessment and set in motion procedures for obesity evaluation by the senior officers,” directives added.

As an another measure to check obesity, Army headquarters advised  to debar personnel who overweight or obese from receiving the unit citation  or acting as escorts for award ceremonies.