MILLINGTON, TN -- Sailors who exceed the Navy’s body-fat standards can no longer get a waiver and receive a passing score on the semi-annual physical fitness assessment (PFA), the Navy announced this week.

Previously, sailors who did not meet the body-fat standards could get a waiver on their body composition assessment (BCA) if their overall scores were excellent or better in other areas of the evaluation. Last year, the Navy granted 1,595 BCA waivers for active-duty sailors.

The maximum BCA is 22 percent body fat for men aged 17 to 39, and 33 percent body fat for women aged 17 to 39. Sailors aged 40 and older are given one additional percentage point.

“Obesity is linked to serious medical conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, gallbladder disease and cancer,” Bill Moore, director of the Navy’s Physical Readiness Program, said in a statement. “Doctors generally agree that the more obese a person is, the more likely he or she is to have health problems. Most sailors have a significantly lower level of body fat than the upper allowable Navy limits.”

The new requirements will take effect July 1, which marks the start of the fall 2010 PFA cycle. Those who exceed Navy BCA standards will be scored as a PFA failure in the Physical Readiness Information Management System.