Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Troops Liposuction: Members Of Military Desperate To Pass Fat Test Turn To Surgery

By Bianca Facchinei b.facchinei@hngn.com | Oct 29, 2013 02:04 PM EDT

Surgery
Phantom claim: Claudia Lopes was told by doctors at a hospital in Alto Paranaiba, southeast Brazil, that she'd imagined the pregnancy after waking up from a C-section.


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Members of the armed forces have resulted to liposuction in order to pass the Pentagon's fat test according to recent reports, NBC10 reported.

Dr. Richard Chaffoo, a plastic surgeon in La Jolla, Calif., said military personnel have reached out to him about the fat-removing procedure.

"Unfortunately we can't guarantee an active servicemember, if you do this procedure you'll pass a tape test," Chaffoo said. "It's certainly not going to save your military career any more than it's going to save your marriage."

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Service members claim they have no choice given the standards of the Defense Department's method of measuring body fat, which several fitness experts and doctors have criticized for being outdated.

However, defense officials say a small percent of those who exceed body fat actually do well on physical fitness tests.

"We want everybody to succeed," said Bill Moore, director of the Navy's Physical Readiness Program. "This isn't an organization that trains them and says, 'Hey, get the heck out.'"  

The fat test is enforced to make sure members of the military are physically fit for the rigors of war. While Pentagon officials said they do not condone receiving surgical procedures to pass the test, liposuction is not prohibited.

Chaffoo suggested a Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement could serve as a better indicator of fitness level for officials examining the troops.

"We do have different body frames obviously, some people are more muscular, so the test may be falsely abnormal," he said, referring to the tape test that uses neck and waist measurements instead of BMIs.

The plastic surgeon also mentioned that the best candidates for liposuction are people within their weight range and just looking for sculpting of certain areas. Anyone with a BMI over 25 to 30 would not likely benefit from the procedure.

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