According to a British Army fitness instructor, the “body positivity” trend encourages obesity and is making new military recruits soft.
In Westminster, London, Lance Sergeant Farren Morgan, 36, one of the Queen’s elite protection soldiers, insists that kids need to quit acting like being fat is “OK.” He says it has caused recruits to perform physically below par and “shy away” from hard work.
“Recruits and candidates influenced by a lifestyle of body positivity lose sight of the importance of consistently maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle which translates into a decline in their physical performance,” said Morgan.
“They don’t train as often as they should in their spare time, shy away from the high-intensity workouts needed to excel as a soldier, and ultimately struggle to keep up with other soldiers during military drills.”
“I see it with a lot of people I know in the Army. These young lads – some of them are only 16 or 17,” the Army fitness instructor said.
“I know they watch TV day in and day out. I know from my eight years of training young recruits that their brains are like sponges.
“They see these images in the media, promoting this unhealthy lifestyle – celebrities saying it’s OK to eat what you want, as long as you’re happy. That misinformation gets stored in their brains and they pass it on.”
He continued: “In the media and online, the message received by recruits is significantly different and dangerous. Recruits are seeing people promote an unhealthy lifestyle of ‘body positivity’ everywhere.
“Body positivity is a lifestyle that promotes complacency and is detrimental to the lives of young soldiers and recruits.”
The Army fitness instructor fears that fatigued soldiers may make poor decisions in the field due to their unhealthy lifestyle.
Lance Sergeant Morgan did, however, emphasize that this was all simply his opinion and that, despite the overweight status of some new recruits, the Army has stringent training and vetting procedures to ensure that all serving personnel are in top condition.
“People always talk about body positivity – being big is OK, and all that sort of stuff. I see that as promoting obesity,” he said.
The soldier also said a culture of instant gratification with takeaway apps was partly to blame.
He believes that, just as the ultra-thin look of the 1990s has been rightfully recognized as unrealistic and unhealthy, more has to be done to combat compulsive eating and obesity, imploring people “triggered” by being told to lose weight or seeing calories on menus should just “man up and get over it.”
“Just grow a pair. We’ve been through two world wars, but it seems like we’ll try to find anything to moan about.”
In a statement, the Army recently said: “We are aware of a story appearing in a number of media outlets recently concerning health and fitness comments made by a soldier in the Coldstream Guards.
“These articles reflect the opinion of the individual involved, and not that of the chain of command; the British Army were not asked for comment.”
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