In June, United States Senator Joni Ernst introduced an amendment to prohibit military cafeterias from implementing Meatless Mondays because she believes soldiers need to eat meat to maintain nutritional balance. However, decades of research show that a plant-based diet can meet or exceed governmental dietary guidelines while helping soldiers stay in shape. For example, there has been a 61 percent increase in obesity among military personnel since 2002, and a meat-rich diet has been identified as one of the main causes of weight gain. A recent study from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that people who eat meat-heavy high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are nearly twice as likely to exceed their ideal weight. As a representative of the nation’s second-highest meat-producing state, Ernst is known to take contributions from the meat industry and defend its interests—this time perhaps at the expense of our military’s health and fitness.
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