The reason? A shortage of large-sized chemical-biological protective suits at the beginning of the war in Iraq for the Army, and large-sized body armor for the Marines. Ill-fitting protective gear can be a difference of life or death, so the Army did a study in 2007 to find the problem.
It found that between 1988 and 2007, soldiers were 11 pounds heavier, and their chests, waists and hips were almost two inches rounder. The obesity epidemic had hit the military - all the forces had bigger troops than before.