Researchers in Sweden tracked over one million men through their military service records, comparing health outcomes for those who enlisted in the 1970s versus those who enlisted in the 1990s.
All the men were 18 years of age on enlistment, and they were followed for 20 years.
Results: The percentage of men who were overweight at their time of enlistment doubled between 1971 and 1995, and the percentage of men who were obese nearly tripled versus men who enlisted in the 1970s. Heart failure cases increased by 69% and the number of strokes increased 32% for the men who enlisted in the early 1990s.
Conclusion: The young men enlisting in the 1990s were less healthy, more overweight, and more likely to experience early onset heart disease (by age 40).