MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Some former top-ranked military officials say prioritizing gym class and healthier school meals are a matter of national security.

A group of retired generals from Minnesota say 69 percent of the young adults in our state cannot serve in the military due to poor health.

Their organization, called “Mission: Readiness,” is encouraging changes so more people can enlist.

They include encouraging walking and biking, promoting fitness and academic achievement, and providing healthy school meals.

“Walking and biking, it’s good exercise,” said retired Brig. Gen. Dennis W. Schulstad at a press conference on Thursay. “Experts are recommending that all children should have a minimum of one hour of vigorous walking or biking, or physical activity, every day.”

The group’s new mission report, titled “Too Fat, Frail and Out-of-Breath to Fight,” highlights health problems active military members face, such as respiratory problems and weak bones.

It also applauds Minnesota for encouraging activity, expanding the state’s bike trail systems and updating nutrition standards at schools.

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