FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- At Army training sites across the nation, the mess hall is beginning to look different. Milk and juice dispensers are replacing soda fountains, and whole grains are being substituted for white bread and pasta.
The military increasingly believes that producing quality recruits starts at the dinner table during basic training, so it has started a more emphatic effort to change their eating habits. Color-coded labels point the way to healthy items, and drill sergeants stand watch over the chow line, calling out soldiers who don't put enough fruit on their plates.
Many new soldiers have never given much thought to their diets -- a problem that reflects the poor food choices of a nation with more and more obese people.