- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Senior military leaders from North Dakota say Congress should resist attempts to water down a bill that sets nutrition standards in schools.

Retired Gens. Michael Haugen, Keith Bjerke, Jerald Engelman and Robert Schulte say a 2010 bill that promotes healthier meals in schools is a good step toward reversing the obesity epidemic and the legislation should be reauthorized.

The group cites a Department of Defense study showing that 73 percent of 17- to 24-year-old residents in North Dakota and South Dakota are not currently eligible for military service, and obesity is a major reason.

The generals are asking the state’s congressional delegation to oppose attempts to weaken or roll back current guidelines.

North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer were not immediately available for comment.

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