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too fat to graduate college?

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:36 AM   #1
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Question too fat to graduate college?

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/30...ss.overweight/

just read this article. i'm completely floored. What does everyone think?? I guess I understand the intention- but to make it a requirement for graduation seems intrusive and discriminatory.

I wonder if they make the people who are underweight take any extra classes.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:50 AM   #2
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Ok, I haven't even finished reading this article and I'm already floored. How on Earth can a college make it a requirement to lose weight or you can't graduate. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. If I went there that school would lose all my money because I'd surely transfer.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:23 AM   #3
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I can sort of see where they're coming from (trying to make everyone a bit healthier). But I bet some of the skinny crackheads who go to that college are far less fit and healthy than the bigger kids.

Why don't they just make a health and fitness class mandatory for everyone? Would achieve their aim, without discriminating against people who are a bit bigger. And what's with the BMI of 30 cutoff? Pretty sure most of their football team would be way larger than that! Although they already do fitness classes.

Dumb idea if you ask me. At least in this incarnation.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:27 AM   #4
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I find it interesting that the student quoted who supports the idea - was able to opt out of the class. Could they not find a student who supports the idea who had take the class?

Being a primarily African American school, I do understand they may be trying to address the fact that African Americans are at higher risk for many health problems assumed to be life-style related. It's my understanding, though that this is true regardless of weight - and that often even with weight - the extra pounds may not show up until middle-age, so why isn't a requirement for every student? Being thin is no guarantee of health - or of life-long thinness, either.

When I went to Illinois Wesleyan EVERY student had to take two P.E. credits. At the time, I thought it was kind of dumb, but because everyone had to do it (except those on the athletic teams for two or more semesters), it was no big deal. I was terrified of taking a class, and being the least fit student, so I opted for independent study. I had to get the permission of the department chair (the coach was so thin and young, I thought she would have a problem with it, but she was very understanding, and the one-on-one attention was awesome).

To be singled out, I would have made a HUGE stink - because I would expect the class to be mandatory for other risky behaviors - the pot and tobacco smokers - the drinkers and partiers - the carelessly promiscuous.

Can you imagine making students take a class if they admitted or were caught making poor health choices such as having casual sex without using use a condom (and how would they know - students "ratting" out each other).

Yeesh. It's another way of rationalizing discrimination ("it's for your own protection" I would expect an African American institution to recognize that as faulty logic. It certainly has been used against the African American community enough).

I fully accept that obesity is a lifestyle factor that contributes to health problems - but it's far from the ONLY one - especially when talking about a young population. College students, and young people in general (and older people aren't exempt either) make a lot of risky choices - why select out only the people you can easily pick out of a lineup - why not make it mandatory for everyone?

Presumeably some of these thin folks will at some point, become obese. Presumeably some of these thin folks (even if they manage to stay thin forever) have or will have obese family members, even children. If it's really about EDUCATION, they would make it mandatory - or allow only those students to opt or "proficiency" out based on their KNOWLEDGE of the material - not their body weight.

Thinness is hardly proof that a person is living a healthy lifestyle or has the knowledge necessary to maintain a healthy weight for life.

Bad logic, in my opinion. Make it mandatory for everyone, or optional for everyone.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizziep View Post
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/30...ss.overweight/

just read this article. i'm completely floored. What does everyone think?? I guess I understand the intention- but to make it a requirement for graduation seems intrusive and discriminatory.

I wonder if they make the people who are underweight take any extra classes.

I think that's TOTAL CRAP.

While I was in college, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, had it removed, and before then I had gained weight because I was hypothyroid, and the tumors made my thyroid basically quit working, and I can pretty much pinpoint in my college career when this happened, around the middle of sophomore year. Anyways, when you have zero metabolism, you gain weight very easily. And unfortunately for me, exercising and eating right would not have helped me lose any weight, because I needed thyroid hormone.

Now, after two surgeries and two radioactive iodine treatments, I'm cancer-free (so far), but only now, a year and a half after graduation (and I went to college for 5 years), is my Synthroid at the right levels and I'm losing weight by eating right.

It's discriminatory to people with hidden medical disorders, like me, because losing weight isn't simple as exercising and eating right. I also think it's kind of an invasion of privacy, and my medical records are private, and i shouldn't be required to talk about it, and if I had attended this college, I would have needed an explanation of why it's discriminatory towards me, and why I should be exempt from the class.

And, I think the thing that was left out of the article and should have been mentioned.... exercising alone will NOT help you lose weight. Most of weight loss comes from what goes in your mouth. Exercise is definitely needed to lose weight, but you can't just exercise and eat like crap and expect to lose weight.

So because of that (and the fact that it's 3x a week for what, an hour?) makes me think it's pretty useless for maximizing weight loss. You have to WANT to lose weight in order to.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:46 AM   #6
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I didn't read all the way down but the bit I read didn't actually annoy me that much - I presume the precondition was laid down at the start of the course? Could students have chosen to attend another college if they objected?

I think we should be much more up front about weight and size and the solutions to it. It's not as though the students have to lose weight or hit a certain goal, it's attendance that's required.

I think it's a great idea and, properly handled, could lead to a more normal attitude to weight and health: instead of 'fat' being a taboo word that we all keep tip-toeing around, it could become just normal: if you get to BMI 'X', then this is the treatment you need, the same way as if your eyesight is a particular way you're prescribed glasses.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:41 AM   #7
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Did they actually say where or what school this was?

The reason I ask is I think Philadelphia was named the fattest city in the nation a while back and they tried to make strides to do things to change that. This may have been part of one of those efforts.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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I'd have no problem taking a class like that, IF it were required for everyone. I loved weight training in high school, and I actually looked for PE type classes at my University but couldn't find anything.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:16 PM   #9
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It's just plain too ridiculous for words. I do not believe it will last.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:18 PM   #10
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wait...im confused...is the requirement that they lose weight in addition to the class? My reading was just that they had to take the class and that passing it was still possible even if you were still overweight. If this is the case then I agree they should make it a school-wide criteria. If they actually have to lose weight to graduate then I think they deserve to be sued!!!

My college required everyone take 2 semesters of PE. The first semester was a general class that focused on holistic health (including standing up to peer pressure etc) and the second class was chosen by the student (i took ballroom dance =0P). It was stupid but at least it wasnt singling people out. During the first semester, we had to do a fitness test as a part of the class and (wouldnt you know it?) I ran laps around those superskinny types and could do wayy more pushups and situps etc. I was not as overweight as I am now but I was still probly over that 30 bmi! And I remember thinking at the time: see? weight isnt everything!
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:05 PM   #11
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They don't have to lose weight, just take the class. I guess the school just assumes if you're overwieght you must not know how to be healthy so they will teach you. And it's on you to lose weight or not after that.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:47 PM   #12
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I have no problem with students having to pass testing for their BMI and physical fitness...

as long as their degrees are in Physical Education, Nutrition or the like.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:54 PM   #13
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Do they make the business and finance majors submit their bank records and credit reports to ensure they are responsible financially?
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Do they make the business and finance majors submit their bank records and credit reports to ensure they are responsible financially?
Well I don't think so but what a good point!
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:47 PM   #15
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I don't think offering the class is a problem, but the assumption that a higher BMI is an indication of IGNORANCE of health issues - and a lower BMI is an indication of KNOWLEDGE of health issues - or that either BMI reflects healthy behaviors, is where they're missing the mark. They're ASSUMING that low BMI folks are not at risk - and must be doing something "right" (rather than just being lucky that current bad habits haven't caught up with them yet).

If they're trying to address health issues, they're overlooking or ignoring some very important factors that may be just as much or even more so indicators of health risk (though less visible). What about students who smoke, drink, use drugs or those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels? What about students with or at risk for type II diabetes (because of family history) who just happen to have a BMI under the mandatory range)?

It's at least as important for an underweight diabetic to exercise regularly, have a healthy diet and understand good health practices, as an overweight nondiabetic.

And what about significantly or even severely underweight students - are they mandated to take the class because they might be at risk for anorexia - and if not, why not?

I don't think such a class normalizes obesity, or makes it less stigmatizsed, I believe it makes the stigma worse. If everyone had to take the class, and each student's program was individualized to their own personal needs, THAT would equalize the issue.

It's not like being prescribed glasses - because suitable (as defined by the college, not the student) vision correction is not "mandated" for college graduation. Furthermore, students with imperfect vision aren't being singled out, required to take a special class that students with "sufficient" (as determined by the college) vision are not required to take.
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