German Soldiers Too Fat: Study

'Compared to the British, we're viewed as pathetic,' soldier complains
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2008 12:19 PM CST
German soldiers, part of the International Security Assistance force (ISAF) stand guard during the opening ceremony of a German-funded medical center project in the Deh Sabz district of Kabul, Afghanistan,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The German army is fat. It’s also unfit, smokes too much, and eats badly, according to a recent parliamentary update, the Guardian reports. About 40% of German soldiers are overweight—8.5% seriously so—and 70% smoke. “This has much to do with poor equipment and lack of training,” the report concluded, adding that soldiers spent too much time on bureaucratic tasks.

The defense ministry admits that more fit soldiers would be “an enormous advantage on the battlefield." One blog poster, who identified himself as an officer, said conscription was the real problem, since many non-volunteers weren't serious soldiers. The army is “full of fatties … making us the laughingstock abroad,” he wrote. “Compared to the British, we’re viewed as pathetic.”