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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 18, 2013 - 8:29 am

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.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Healthy food is all fine and good. But a civilian with a desk job burning 2,000 calories per day has different requirements than a soldier whose training sometimes makes him burn 5,000+ calories per day. When we begin to have obese military, then I'll worry about their diet.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...the first lady's lets move! campaign"

who elected her anything? as for her nutritional credentials? she's a lawyer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (30)
All Comments   (30)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
If wonder if her white haus vegetable garden is using genetically modified seeds?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And now the big push to make sure everybody's eating their genetically modified "Franken Food". Seconds Anyone?....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ah... the Kenyan fascist.. working to create a nation not worth fighting for and a military incapable of defending it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Think I'd rather tell the Hell's Angels how to eat rather than try to dictate eating habits to our military folks. They actually have assault weapons!
L
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Healthy food is all fine and good. But a civilian with a desk job burning 2,000 calories per day has different requirements than a soldier whose training sometimes makes him burn 5,000+ calories per day. When we begin to have obese military, then I'll worry about their diet.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Been there, done that. I joined the Air Force in 1976 and the military almost always provided reasonable options like a salad line at fixed bases. We had weight standards and, overseas, commercials about staying skinny. I doubt another program will do much good but I was among the first to see commercial fast food on base and I'd hate to see it removed.
The 1250-calorie MRE at 3 per day is designed to support a 200-lb infantry soldier. It's easy to go through 3600+ calories a day in combat or during a disaster response. The biggest problem I had when I lived on MREs a few times was that the colon rather hoards them, if you know what I mean...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If they want to fix anything it should be MRE's. "Each MRE provides an average of 1,250 calories (13% protein, 36% fat, and 51% carbohydrates) and 1/3 of the Military Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals. A full day's worth of meals would consist of three MREs." I could never stomach three in one day. Bring back C-Rat's, I love the fruit cup.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is just old wine in new bottles.

The Army did this in the 1990s. What they will do is close the short order line (thats where they serve up burgers, dogs and grilled cheese and fries) and declare "victory". We always had plenty of healthy choices in the chow hall.

Or, they will go whole hog health-kook-food-nazi, piss everybody off, then go back to the way it was after enough people complain and quit eating at the chow hall.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I see nothing wrong with this. If food is part of the package it should be healthy food only. No difference than those on food stamps should only be getting healthy food. Of course, that is the lesser of two evils, I would do away with food stamps entirely but that is just the (real) conservative in me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In Afghanistan, we'd have the same boil-in-a-bag meals all the time. The menu had enough diversity that it would start over every three weeks. After six months of this, the goats outside our wire started looking REAL tasty.
When you're thousands of miles away from home and getting shot at, you people have no idea what a morale booster it is to head over to a big base and grab some Pizza Hut. This health food kick is just a kick in the nuts to us Soldiers. Someone needs to tell the calorie Nazis to piss up a rope.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Individuals that choose to eat in military dinning facilities have many healthy options. Those that choose not to eat there, should only have their choices limited by a free market, not by the whim of a politicians wife.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just another step in the plan to make military service unbearable for Conservatives and Patriots. They leave, the ranks are cut and what remains gets filled with Obama loyalists, especially in the officer class. Typical of how would-be dictators stack the military with their people before making the big move.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When the big move happens, the patriots won't be bound by ROE. LOVED the new Red Dawn!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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