Fizzy drinks. Video games. And excessive masturbation.
Those are the culprits the People’s Liberation Army Daily, a military newspaper in China, recently blamed for a rise in the number of recruits that fail Chinese military fitness tests.
In an online post earlier this month, the People’s Liberation Army Daily highlighted the reasons potential recruits aren’t making the cut.
At least 20 percent of recruits are rejected for being overweight, while eight percent of male recruits also had enlarged testicular veins, a symptom of excessive masturbation or sitting for too long, the report said.
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Others rejected from the military displayed signs of poor sleep, bad eyesight, high blood pressure and excessive sweating.
In an unidentified Chinese city, the report stated, almost 60 percent of candidates had failed physical examinations.
The article recommended potential recruits limit smart phone use, avoid water with high mineral content and exercise.
More recently, after the report went viral and Internet users poked fun at its conclusions, the People’s Liberation Army defended the caliber of its recruits.
"The quality of our recruits is guaranteed and the headwaters of our military will flow long and strong," the military group said.
According to the BBC, the Chinese Ministry of Defense announced plans to cut the People’s Liberation Army in half earlier this year, a decision some speculated was motivated by failing recruits.