A 47-year-old Canadian veteran was recently granted disability benefits on the basis that the food he ate while in the Navy had made him obese.
The veteran, who remained unnamed by the Chronicle Herald, made his argument to Veterans Review and Appeal Board in October that the unhealthy food supplied by the Canadian Navy over his 26 years of service had made him extremely unhealthy.
During his time in the Navy, the veteran said, the food caused him to gain 140 pounds and eventually suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes. The board initially denied him his request, but later granted his benefits when he was able to establish a link between the food he ate while serving and his current condition.
Canadian disability benefits vary depending on the severity of the case and the calculated need of the person with the disability. There are a total of 21 classes to be ranked in, with class 1 being the highest. Those who qualify for the highest amount of disability benefit can collect up to $2,663 [$1,992 USD] if single, and up to $4,000 [$3,000 USD] if married with multiple children. It's unclear how much the veteran received.
Physician Niall Buckley, the doctor who produced a report on the man's condition for Veterans Affairs to look at, made an argument for the veteran's hypertension by drawing a link between the shift from the man's original diet—which consisted of lean meat and organic foods—to the high-sodium, high-fat food served on board navy ships.
Despite taking a position against the food served on board Canadian ships, Buckley said he doesn't think it's a Navy-specific issue.
"I don't think the food aboard the ships is any different than the food in the average kitchen in Nova Scotia," Buckley told the Chronicle Herald. "It's the same processed rubbish that most everyone is eating.
"The only thing unique about him is that he was on a different diet altogether before he went into the military."
Food may be the only outlet for a lot of sailors, however. After a series of drunken incidents on board the HMCS Whitehorse, the Navy banned booze on all ships that aren't tied to a dock or celebrating approved events such as Christmas parties.
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