U.S. military bases are traditionally outfitted with some of the comforts of home — including comfort food. The naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for example, has McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, Subway, an Irish pub with notorious fried pickles, and multiple bars.
Now, the food police are closing in at the Department of Defense, with similar language that preceded school menu crackdowns.
The Pentagon today announced 13 pilot sites for its Healthy Base Initiative: Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; Sub Base New London, Conn.; Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho; Yokota Air Base, Japan; Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center/Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.; U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.; March Air Reserve Base, Calif.; and Camp Dodge, Iowa. The remaining two sites participating are the Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va.; and Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Va.
The program is “part of the president’s National Prevention Strategy and complements the first lady’s Let’s Move! campaign to promote good health for all Americans,” according to the DoD.
The HBI “is designed to identify effective ways to improve the overall health and wellness of service members, families, and civilians, specific efforts will focus on making informed nutritional food choices, increased physical activity, weight management, and tobacco cessation.”
As far as base grub, the program aims “to change the culture of eating from unhealthy, processed, so-called ‘fast’ food to fresh, nutritious food and beverages.”
At Gitmo, though, fruits and vegetables are already as plentiful as beer at the Officer’s Club.
Still, “to accomplish this, installations would improve the availability of healthy food options in all food venues, to include vending machines, commissaries, dining facilities and military exchanges. Changing people’s approach to eating will require education about why the healthy option is the best option.”