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Texas — First lady Michelle Obama said Thursday that the military’s push to turn recruits into health-conscious warriors could be a model for making people across the U.S. more focused on fitness and nutrition.

Obama, who has made battling childhood obesity one of her signature causes as first lady, visited the Army’s largest training post at Fort Jackson outside Columbia to see what the Army has done, from more rigorous training drills to fat-free milk in its mess halls.

“I’m very excited,” Obama told Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who has worked to overhaul both the soldiers’ diets and exercise programs. “I am fascinated by what you’re doing.”

A lack of fitness is “not just a health issue but a national security issue,” she said, and the military’s health initiatives could be a model for youngsters elsewhere.

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