The cops and doughnuts stereotype may actually be true, as a new study from the FBI indicates that 80% of law enforcement officers in the U.S. are overweight.
“When you’re in a life or death struggle, you’ve got to win that fight,” said Garland Assistant Chief Jeff Bryan. The Garland Police Department is looking to help its officers improve their health as a result of the statistics found by the FBI.
“I think it’s important for all of us to keep the weight down and stay in shape especially for the job,” Bryan said. “The stress that we incur at this job … this is a great way to relieve the stress and to keep the blood pressure down.”
While gyms are provided on-site by many local law enforcement agencies, they admit that there are no formal policies regarding the health and fitness of their officers, CBS Local reported.
Joe Harn, spokesman for Garland Police, acknowledged that some of Garland’s police officers are overweight, but he said that number isn’t anywhere close to 8 out of 10. He said there are many reasons why the department views fitness as a high priority, one of them being easing the stress that comes along with the job.
“Somebody that did a full career of law enforcement? Average age is 60- that’s when they died, at 60 years old,” Harn said. “So what we found out is if we’re going to improve and overcome that stress, we’ve got to stay in shape, we’ve got to control our weight if we want to live longer.”