Obesity among its soldiers have undermined “operational effectiveness” of British forces, leading to shortage of fit soldiers who could be deployed to fight the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, according to a leaked Army memo.
“War effort is being hampered by troops too unfit to deploy. Leaked army memo reveals many British soldiers are so obese they cannot be sent to Helmand Britain's war effort is being hampered by the number of front-line troops who are too fat or unfit to be deployed to southern Afghanistan," the Observer said in its report.
A leaked memo sent to all army units and obtained by the Observer reveals that basic fitness policy "is not being carried out" and highlights concern among military commanders over a "worrying trend of obesity" that is limiting the number of soldiers fit enough to fight in Helmand.
“The numbers of personnel unable to deploy and concerns about obesity throughout the army are clearly linked to current attitudes towards physical training," states the emergency memo from Major Brian Dupree of the army physical training corps in Wiltshire.
He warns that Britain's “operational effectiveness" is being undermined and that soldiers' lives could be placed at risk because some are unable to cope with the brutal conditions of Helmand province and the stresses of combat.
Currently there are 3,860 army personnel classified as PUD - personnel unable to deploy - with a further 8,190 regarded as being of "limited deployability".