How far would you go to serve your country? Does Liposuction comes to mind when pondering this question? According to the Associated Press on Oct. 28, some soldiers are turning to the drastic procedure to pass the U.S. military's fat procedure while facing the pressure of downsizing.
One Maryland surgeon, Dr. Adam Tattelbaum, knows this dilemma all too well, as he's the one soldiers will turn to when facing the fat test, which can determine their future in the military. CBS notes that these tests are designed to make sure troops can handle combat and that "only a small fraction" of those who exceed the body fat limits will do well on fitness tests, as noted by Defense officials.
The test used is called a tape test and simply measures the waist and neck and give a body fat estimate. However, a fitness expert noted that many athletes in the NFL, who are in peak physical condition, would fail the tape test, as it is not calibrated for bigger builds, but for the average population. The AP notes that the number of Army soldiers kicked out for being too big has soared, just in the last five years. In 2008, the number was 168 but it now stands at 1,815.
Liposuction isn't banned but the Pentagon says it doesn't condone troops altering their bodies through surgery. Failing the fat test isn't necessarily a death sentence either. If failure occurs, the troop must spend months conducting rigorous exercise and nutrition programs. But, being part of the "doughnut brigade, as the Marines call it, can set a soldier back years in terms of promotions. In an era of downsizing, the last time a soldier wants is be to at a disadvantage.