Heat stroke caused (partially) by obese soldier

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Legallybald, May 3, 2007.

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  1. Respect and condolences, but this is shocking:


    'The report into the death of Private Jason Smith, which has provoked fury from his family, said the 32-year-old weighed 112kg (17st) and was 180cm (6ft) tall, giving him a body mass index of 34 and "putting him at the higher level of obese".'


    'While Pte Smith was certified as ready for battle, Territorial Army soldiers had to run for only half the distance as their regular army colleagues before passing fitness tests, despite being asked to carry out the same operational duties.'

    Really? When I was in (late 80's) it was the same BFT as the regulars... what's the point in having a watered down version?

    Rounded off with:

    'STRICT weight limits to screen out the heftiest troops have been relaxed in recent months by the Ministry of Defence.

    Men with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 28 had been barred from joining the military.

    But the threshold has been raised to 32, two points above the World Health Organisation's definition of "obese".

    An inquiry by the National Audit Office found that the armed forces had changed their entry criteria after research found that a third of 16-year-olds would be deemed too overweight.'
  2. And if they applied the same BMI to most rugby players they would be classed as clinically obese!!
  3. Indeed this is tragic and we should respect the families loss, RIP.

    The intense heat in ISAF and in IRAQ is always hard to deal with and takes a lot of getting used to.( I not sure you really can in the short tours we do). That said it is unhelpful to generalise or opine about anything unless you know the facts and are able to convey them.

    Perhaps these pages are not the best place to contemplate this and we should let time takes it course.

  4. I tend to agree.

    A tragic story. Read the full BoI yourself rather than rely on the interpretations of a tabloid.

    This wasn't the only heat-related death or illness in the summer of 2003 - in fact around 600 personnel were AEROMED'd out of theatre for heat-related illness. By 2004, that figure had dropped to around a dozen, despite the high intensity of ops. For those that remember the build up to GW1, all anyone could talk about was the need to get the fighting over with before the infernal heat of the summer came. We have now been fighting every summer since 2003, and I think it is quite an achievement that heat illness incidents are so low.

    My thoughts are with the family of this brave soldier.

  5. They are talking about the CFT which last year was 4 miles as opposed to the 8 the regs do, that is changing to 6 miles this year and 8 miles next (I believe)

    17 st and 6 ft is a bit over weight but not horrendously, question I have was is that his weight as time of death or when at Chilwell ? I've seen plenty of guys pile the pounds on during tours if they do a less than active role. I think the telling statement is the line from his Health (???? PTI ????) Instructor that he "would give up when the going got tough" says a lot really. Its unfortunate that this tragic event has seemed to be poorly handled from a PR position (again) I would like to know where that qoute came from.

    Saying all that there are some good points about accom and heat management.

  6. msr

    msr LE

    TA CFT was 4 miles, now 6 miles, unless you are warned for or going on ops - then you do the full 8.

  7. A sad story, which highlights both good and bad points, however the PR pundit who dealt with it needs slapped. His fasmily should've been the main interest at a time of bereavement. RIP.

    Applicants need to be under a BMI of 28 to apply for the Army. You can have a BMI between 28-32, however your bodyfat must be less than 20% and it is dealt on an individual basis each time.
  8. Agreed, BMI based on height and weight is a poor indicator of health. Having checked the BMI of many troops against a body fat monitor I discovered a not at all shocking difference. BMI can't take into account muscle and fat differences.

    During a tour of NI one of our lads was in the gym for hours every day. Using the BMI chart he was morbidly obese, according to the Body fat monitor he didn't have enough fat.
  9. I agree, BMI does nothing but annoy me.

    According to it, I have a BMI of just under 26. I'm 6ft, but have 13% body fat.

    It's an incredibly innacurate and generalised system, in my opinion anyway.
  10. BMI does not take into account the make-up of the weight and on its own is at best deceptive and at worst positively dangerous. More significant measures, like VO2 uptake or fat ratios/percentages are harder to calculate but more useful. blood pressure and heart rate are also quite significant when assessing fitness for "work".

    Like most denizens of the front five, BMI does not really reflect our health or fitness. It is another example of numbers being important but hiding the truth and issues behind them.

    Edited to add: My BMI is 28 and I am just therefore in the lower range for "overweight". However my ARPR is 61. My B.P. is 135/67. My body fat is 18%. Yesterday I ran 2.4 km in just under 12 minutes aged 45 years. I could certainly crack a 4 mile CFT, but might struggle with loads at 6 or 8 miles unless I trained. Which as I am a fat useless "overweight" civvy and medically downgraded I shall not bother. BMI is just one "indicator" and it is unsafe to rely on one indicator in any circumstances.