. . . because I am too fat.
More than two dozen seniors at Lincoln University, in Oxford, Pa., are in danger of not being able to graduate this spring — not because they’re under disciplinary probation or haven’t fulfilled the requirements of their majors, but because they were obese as freshmen.
All had body mass index (BMI) scores above 30 — the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ threshold for obesity — when they arrived on campus in the fall of 2006, but none have taken college-sanctioned steps to show they’ve lost weight or at least tried. They’re in the historically black university’s first graduating class required to either have a BMI below 30 or to take “Fitness for Life,” a one semester class that mixes exercise, nutritional instruction and discussion of the risks of obesity.
I've lost 30 pounds this year. But I'm still a bit over a 30 BMI, and thus, according to the United States government, obese. Therefore, I could not get a degree from Lincoln unless I agreed to take the "Fitness for Life" class.
Naturally, this is being done for the good of the students themselves.
James L. DeBoy, chair of Lincoln’s health, physical education and recreation department, said he sees it as his “professional responsibility to be honest and tell students they’re not healthy.”
Of course, it strikes me as unlikely that college freshman do not already know that being obese is unhealthy. If they didn't know or accept that already, it strikes me as unlikely that a one-semester course will educate or convince them. It seems more likely that Lincoln wants its students to proclaim as one of their accepted verities that they ought be below a BMI of 30. It's like diversity indoctrination, except for us fatties.
Note, by the way, that Lincoln does not actually require them to lose weight, or to eat in a healthy manner, or (outside the one class) to embark on an exercise program. Also, call me a cynic , but I doubt that Lincoln is teaching any of the scientific dissent about using BMI as a guideline for who is healthy and who is not.
Lincoln is a private university. Students choose to go there. Students can choose not to go there if they find the school's requirements offensive. We all make such decisions about our personal freedom every day. Make them with your eyes open. I would tell Lincoln to kiss my fat ass.
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