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WASHINGTON — Hold the mystery meat: Military bases will soon be serving more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dishes under the first program in 20 years to improve nutrition standards across the armed services.

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First lady Michelle Obama and Pentagon officials planned to announce the effort Thursday during a visit to Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, where the military has been experimenting with the idea through a pilot program designed to improve the quality and variety of foods served on base.

It’s not just about giving members of the armed services a more svelte profile.

“The Department of Defense considers obesity not only a national problem, but a national security issue,” said Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. “About a quarter of entry-level candidates are too overweight to actually either enter the military or sustain themselves through the first enlistment.”

The Pentagon spends an estimated $4.5 billion a year on food services, and $1.1 billion a year on medical care related to excess weight and obesity.

Check out the rest of the story at theGrio.

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