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According to the U.S. Military Processing Exam, 62,000 new recruits to the military were turned away in joining the military due to their weight.
Juan Cardenas, a member of the Marine Corps junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Northridge High School, offered fellow students a presentation on healthier foods, nutrition, calories, and label reading.
Sixteen year old Cardenas said in a local article, that he wasn’t always the strongest and fastest kid, but was always the bigger kid, but now he is the kid that can “hold his own” and compete.
Cardenas knows that eating healthy and exercising has helped him and hopes to show that to his peers.
Latino kids are at higher risks for diet-related dieseases like obesity and diabetes, and according to the the local article, this can disadvantage America’s military, who worry many entering won’t be fit to fight.
Having healthier schools is important for Latino kids and all kids, who consume most of their daily calories at school.
A group called Mission Readiness, hopes to see more students like Cardenas take the lead in a healthier lifestyle.
Mission Readiness, a nonpartisan group, that works with the community and agriculture farmers is made up of 600 retired generals and admirals is now teaming up with various agriculture, school and civic groups to help the community lessen the impact of obesity on the military.
The group sees that obesity can be damaging to America’s future, stating on their site that more than 70 percent of 17 to 24-year olds in the U.S cannot serve in the military primarily because of poor education, overweight issues or criminal records.
Mission Readiness hopes to inspire more kids like Cardenas to take the lead in living a healthy lifestyle, learning discipline and self control through exercise and healthy diet choices.
Cardenas hopes to help his fellow ROTC class learn about eating right and shows other students how to be a model of health.
To learn more about why it’s important to have healthier schools for Latino kids, click here.
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