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South Carolina part of list of states with low fitness in US Army recruits

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South Carolina is a part of a list of Southern states that have U.S. Army recruits with low fitness.

The information was found in a recent research study released by The Citadel in collaboration with the U.S. Army Public Health Center and the American Heart Association.

Findings from the research reveal that recruits from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are all significantly less fit than recruits from other U.S. states.

And being less fit can lead to more training related injuries showing that males and females from these states are 22 to 28 percent more likely to be injured.

These states also make up the Army’s top recruiting region and each recruit lost to injury cost the Department of Defense approximately $31,000.

The study also cites that 27 percent of Americans 17 to 24-years-old are too overweight to qualify for military service, making obesity the second highest disqualifying medical condition between 2010 and 2014.

"All children deserve to live, learn and play in places where their health can thrive," said Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, FAAFP, chief medical officer for prevention and chief of the Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation for the American Heart Association.

"This study underscores the importance of physical education in schools and emphasizes our responsibility to build communities with parks, bike lanes and safe routes to school. This must be done not just for our children's hearts and brains but for our national security."

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