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Recruits (Physical Development)

Volume 446: debated on Tuesday 27 January 1948

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102.

asked the Secretary of State for War if his attention has been drawn to the statement by the C.I.G.S. that recruits to the Army gain 4 lbs. in weight during their first six weeks' service; and to what circumstances is this fact attributed.

Yes, the curriculum of the recruit's first six weeks' training in the Army is particularly designed to develop his physique. The complete change of environment to which recruits are subjected, and more particularly regular meals, graduated exercise and comparative open air life, stimulate the young recruit so that he makes full use of the energy provided by his rations and any additional food available from N.A.A.F.I. and other sources. The initial result of training is a reduction in weight owing to loss of fat. This is followed by a gain in weight due to the improved mechanical efficiency of the body with a consequent saving in energy expenditure, and the diversion of the energy value of the diet to the building up of the heavier muscle tissues instead of fat. The end result in six weeks on the average is a gain in weight of four pounds.