You can come up with all kinds of reasons, but it still comes down to personal responsibility. You only become morbidly obese by ingesting way more calories than you burn....it doesn't matter what job you are doing. The individual makes a choice when he overeats, lights a smoke, decides not to exercise, etc... The nature of the officer's job provides alot of down time when it's easy to grab a snack you don't really need. People make jokes about it, because it's so often true.... it certainly is in our county. At least half of the deputies in the police & sheriff's dept. here are just plain fat....bellies hanging down over their belts , and I'm talking about guys in their late 20's-40's...and it's even more prevalent in the EMT's around here...when not on a call, the ambulance units are usually parked at a local restaurant that specializes in "all you can eat" buffets for both breakfast and lunch and there will be 3 or 4 EMT's sitting at a table for hours in the mornings, just drinking coffee and eating while waiting for a call. The same place usually has 3 or 4 patrol cars parked their for lunch every day too with officers putting away several chicken fried steaks, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls and fried okra. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE to eat and can put it away with anyone...but I don't make a habit of it. I eat out for lunch maybe one day a week, and the rest of the time I fix a sandwich, and some salad and fruit. I work out at least 4-5 days a week, and just like almost everyone in the private sector, its on my own time and nobody pays me to do it. If a job requires a certain degree of physical fitness to accomplish the required duties, and the employee gets so fat they cannot perform at a minumum expected level, then they need to be given a set time period to get to that level, and if they can't/won't do it, they should be terminated for cause. The idea of a union having to protect the job of "incompetents" for the sake of the good employees, is the very reason most employers have such a dislike for them.
"I looked out under the sun and saw that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong" Ecclesiastes 9:11
"The race may not always go to the swift or the battle to the strong, but that's the way the smart money bets" Damon Runyon