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College's too-fat-to-graduate rule under fire

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posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 01:26 PM

College's too-fat-to-graduate rule under fire

CNN) -- Most college students expect to receive their diplomas on the basis of grades, but at a Pennsylvania school, physical fitness matters too.

Students at Lincoln University with a body mass index of 30 or above, reflective of obesity, must take a fitness course that meets three hours per week. Those who are assigned to the class but do not complete it cannot graduate.

Now that the first class to have this requirement imposed is nearing graduation day -- students who entered in the fall of 2006 -- the school faces criticism from both students and outsiders about the fitness class p
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 01:26 PM
Now this is really ridiculous. Since when does body image have any effect on how well you would do in your chosen field after studying?

This is just wrong.

We, as educators, must tell students when we believe, in our heart of hearts, when certain factors, certain behaviors, attitudes, whatever, are going to hinder that student from achieving and maximizing their life goals," he said.

These educators have no right to force people who are PAYING through the nose for an education, to be a certain way, look a certain way or act a certain way.

I for one hope somebody get's sued and this university realizes the error's of it's ways.

(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 01:45 PM
they are sending a message that if you are fat you wont succeed in life. not the best message to send.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 01:46 PM

Originally posted by RoyalCanadian
they are sending a message that if you are fat you wont succeed in life. not the best message to send.

Yeah, totally enforcing the Hollywood Image for success.

It's really ridiculous, if they tried anything like this in Canada, the people who came up with it would be dragged through the court system and paraded among the populace as idiots to the extreme.


posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 01:51 PM
They could better use those resources to tackle alcoholism and drug use which I believe to be far more destructive than a twinkie fetish. When I was in college everyone was drunk constantly, of age or not. Actually, my "freshmen 15" came from drinking too much beer not eating too much pizza, once I quite drinking it all went away

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 02:13 PM
No one should be forced to take any class. If fat people are required to take a nutrition or fitness class everyone should.

That being said I get tired of all the fat sympathy that goes on in America nowadays. Not everyone who is fat has a "low thyroid". Many are lazy, self pitying, over eaters.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 02:16 PM
reply to post by searching4truth

If we are being honest obesity is just as much a drain on healthcare and the workplace as alcoholism or drug abuse.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 02:40 PM
They could take it a bit further and say that any tubby professors will lose tenure if they don't lose weight.

How about no pay for overweight administration members.

While we are at it, we could reduce grades for underweight girls who are on the bulemic side by the percentage of body mass that they are underweight by.

I could go on.

I know, how about a good kick in the keister for the social conditioning crowd.


posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 02:47 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

We live in a paranoid, intolerant culture.

Perhaps if the size of one's gut is equated in a negative sense to one's intelligence, we'll someday discover the the fattest heads contain the fewest brains.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 03:01 PM
Eh, I don't see this so much as an outrage but rather a natural step in fighting obesity. We've all seen the walmart rolls, and by rolls I mean people who require a motorized cart to get around. Perhaps if these very people had someone bearing down on them to shape up then perhaps they wouldn't be in their situation.

These educators have no right to force people who are PAYING through the nose for an education, to be a certain way, look a certain way or act a certain way.

Think of it as furthering their education in the area of personal health and wellness, nobody who weighs 300 lbs and is of average height is healthy no matter what nonsense they might claim. Its just simply not good for you to be overweight. We all know its not healthy, now someone is actually making them work to be healthy based on all that we know about the dangers of obesity.

No one should be forced to take any class. If fat people are required to take a nutrition or fitness class everyone should.

Its no different than me being told I have to take a HLT/PED elective as part of my Computer Science degree program (which I certainly did). And I didn't mind it one bit in the end because of all the courses I took the one for this elective was probably the most eye opening of all.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 03:06 PM
reply to post by Helig

No, that's the problem today.

I understand that obesity is a problem and we should do things to curve that issue, however when you PAY 60K for an education and you pass all of your courses, some of these people were on the honor roll for multiple years, they don't have the right to prevent you from graduating because of your BMI.

Especially if it has nothing to do with your chosen field of study. I could understand if you were taking something like Gym Teacher or you know that sort of thing, but this is YOUR education, you get to choose what you want to do.

Universities are businesses, services to US the payer of said education.


posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 03:25 PM
I think america is becoming to PC on the subject of obesity, fat is not beautiful it is unhealthy and unnatural. Its about time someone motivated these people. I understand that some people have medical conditions that cause them to become overweight but I suspect that for the majority of obese people in the world that is not the case.T here are many obese people who are very productive to society and could care less if they are overweight, however they are setting bad examples for our youth. Check out the numbers.
58 Million Overweight; 40 Million Obese; 3 Million morbidly Obese
Eight out of 10 over 25's Overweight
78% of American's not meeting basic activity level recommendations
25% completely Sedentary
76% increase in Type II diabetes in adults 30-40 yrs old since 1990
Obesity Related Diseases
80% of type II diabetes related to obesity
70% of Cardiovascular disease related to obesity
42% breast and colon cancer diagnosed among obese individuals
30% of gall bladder surgery related to obesity
26% of obese people having high blood pressure

Childhood Obesity Running Out of Control
4% overweight 1982 | 16% overweight 1994
25% of all white children overweight 2001
33% African American and Hispanic children overweight 2001
Hospital costs associated with childhood obesity rising from $35 Million (1979) to $127 Million (1999)

Childhood Metabolic and Heart Risks
New study suggests one in four overweight children is already showing early signs of type II diabetes (impaired glucose intolerance)
60% already have one risk factor for heart disease

Surge in Childhood Diabetes
Between 8% - 45% of newly diagnosed cases of childhood diabetes are type II, associated with obesity.
Whereas 4% of Childhood diabetes was type II in 1990, that number has risen to approximately 20%
Depending on the age group (Type II most frequent 10-19 group) and the racial/ethnic mix of group stated
Of Children diagnosed with Type II diabetes, 85% are obese.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 03:32 PM
reply to post by Delmus

I agree they should do something.

But when I PAY for an education, I want the education I paid for. And I am doing well in my courses, it makes no difference, how fat or how thin I am.

I am passing, therefore I get to graduate. Nowhere does it state that you have to be thin and beautiful to graduate university.

This is an appauling standard.


posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 03:49 PM
Ok so this is a little nit-picky, but as a personal trainer, I have to reply to this. The test they are using to determine obesity (BMI, which is a height:weight test) is really out of date. If they truly want to determine obesity, they need to implement a body fat % test. The BMI test can label a very physically fit person overweight or obese because they can be on the shorter side and have a lot of muscle on their frame (which is twice as heavy as fat, but takes up half the space in the body). I will use myself as an example: I am 5'6" and my weight fluctuates between 140 and 145. According to the BMI test, I am overweight. But my body fat % fluctuates between 11% and 13%, which for a female is very low. If I didn't exercise like I do, and my weight was 140-145, I WOULD be overweight. But I exercise 5-6 days a week and therefore have a lot of lean muscle on my frame. I'm not overweight/obese.

That said, I don't agree with not allowing students to graduate without taking a fitness class 3x/week. I DO agree, however, that physical fitness should be more precedent in today's population. But the school has no right to imply that someone may not be as successful if they are overweight. I know plenty of extremely successful overweight people.

Basically, if you're going to go to such insane lengths with these students, at least base your fitness testing on the correct method. I feel sorry for students who do have a lot of lean muscle on their frame and aren't tall. They're going to get especially screwed in this.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 03:55 PM
If this were a Primary Education that was mandatory, then I could see an argument for this practice (although I can think of half a dozen arguments against it too).

However, for Secondary Education, this is just ridiculous.

Granted, a University is a Private Entity. It has the legal right to make the criteria for graduation as they see fit, so long as it doesn't discriminate based on race, religion, gender, or sexual preference. However, that is what is at the crux of this issue is discrimination. Just because it isn't currently against the law to discriminate based on physical looks, body type, or weight, doesn't mean that it isn't wrong and that it shouldn't be illegal.

Seriously, what is next? You can only graduate if you have blonde hair and blue eyes?

Not everyone can change their physique to meet a < 30% BMI. For some people, this is hard-coded in their genetic structure. It is as impossible for them to achieve as changing their skin color or eye color.

I know that I, a male at 5'10" and 165lbs am considered "Obese" by AMA guidelines and "Overweight" by CDC guidelines. Sure, I could stand to shed a few pounds, and if so inclined perhaps I should. However, that is my choice to make and mine alone. I used to be 117lbs until my daughter was born. I've gotten down to 117lbs once since then but decided for myself that it wasn't healthy for me to be that weight anymore and it was promoting a negative self body image to state that anything higher than that was Obese or Overweight!

We are now a generation of people who were raised on Barbies and Super-Models and Hollywood Stars. As such, we think that unless we kill ourselves with Bulimia and Anorexia in an attempt to make our bodies look a specific way which we will never achieve that we are "Obese" or "Overweight". That kind of mentality is reckless and endangering our children, not helping them.

Personally, I'd rather spend my time working out the one muscle that truly matters the most than working out to reduce my waistline! If given the option of improving my mind or improving my body, I would forsake my body any day! Because frankly, at the end of the day, it is your body that withers and dies, and not who you are on the inside which is the eternal aspect of our being.

Just because some dim-witted idiot with an Eating Disorder who weighs 90lbs has decreed through Federal Guidelines that I'm "Obese" at 165lbs doesn't make me Obese. I don't live my life according to anyone's standards but my own. If I'm fine with my weight, then everyone else should keep out of my business. It's my body, not the AMA's, not the CDC's, not the University of Pennsylvania's!

Maybe the Review Board should reconsider UPenn's Accreditation. Maybe it is time for Average people to boycott UPenn instead of attempting to conform to their unreasonable standards for graduation.

UPenn should be ashamed of themselves.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 04:00 PM
So does that mean their star centers and linemen on thier football team can't graduate? Somehow me thinks things might be overlooked( that is assuming they even have a football team btw, never even heard of the school) And on a side note when they start using the submersion test for BMI ( can't remmeber the name) then they can accurately tell someone what thier BMI is. Skin pinch and that outdated chart are shots in the dark at best and don't take into account quite a few factors.

[edit on 30-11-2009 by djvexd]

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 04:09 PM

And on a side note when they start using the submersion test for BMI ( can't remmeber the name) then they can accurately tell someone what thier BMI is. Skin pinch and that outdated chart are shots in the dark at best and don't take into account quite a few factors.

Actually the submersion test is for body fat %, not BMI. They're two different things. And the pinch test is for body fat % and is honestly way more accurate than the BMI test (which is a height:weight measurement). But you're right - that would mean that most of their athletes would fall under the overweight/obese category too, due to the amount of lean muscle on their bodies. It's ridiculous.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 04:20 PM
Despite the way college students these days are treated like children, with their helicopter parents constantly hovering over them, they are in fact adults, and should try acting as such.

It costs a lot of money to attend third level education in the US, if they feel that the method being used by a given university to assess them for graduation is inappropriate, they should go to a different school.

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 04:41 PM
reply to post by EidolonMoon

Thanks for correcting me Eidolon, learned all that a long time ago in culinary school.....a LONG TIME AGO, brain doesn't quite function like it did back then...

posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 04:47 PM
quick, some enterprising business people, get together and open an university where your degree is not held hostage by your weight. all the folks who want to graduate, can transfer to the new school and still graduate. this will encourage more enrollment.

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