Beeld reported on Thursday that percentages in the provisional report were based on information gathered by the South African Military Health Service (SAMHS) between April 2011 and March 2012.
Soldiers are being warned that they face potentially life-threatening lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues if they don't slim down.
In addition, "the army can simply not be battle-ready with overweight soldiers. Everyone has to know that the fight against obesity is now official," the report states.
The soldiers are being encouraged to visit dieticians and establish a healthy eating plan and lifestyle.
All members of the SAMHS have to be weighed before Friday, and the statistics will be used in future projects aimed at encouraging army personnel to become more streamlined.
The SAMHS report uses the World Health Organisation's definition of body mass index. – Sapa