Students at Lincoln University are now forced to take phys. ed if their bmi is over 30

Isobel - posted on 11/25/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Some protest decision to make class a graduation requirement
Sharifa Riley
Issue date: 11/18/09 Section: News



Lincoln University students will now have to endure a physical exam determining each student's BMI (body mass index) before they are permitted to graduate. An individual's BMI measures the amount of body fat.

Amid fierce criticisms, Lincoln University has recently installed a new requirement for its undergraduate students. If your BMI is over 30, you are required to take a physical education class.

This new requirement has caused an uproar from some students and professors who argue that the university is actively discriminating against those who are obese. Some students argue that their time at Lincoln may be prolonged because of an additional class.

University officials say that they are actively working to increase the health of their students, but many have their doubts.

"What's the point of this? What does my BMI have to do with my academic overcome?" asked Dionard Henderson, a freshman. "Some students on campus are just confused why a certain BMI has to be a requirement. Are there not a sufficient amount of prerequisites to complete prior to graduating from college?

Dr. James L. DeBoy, who is Chair and Professor of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation could not be reached for comment, but there appears to be division even among the department's faculty on this new requirement.

"I don't necessarily agree with the BMI being a requirement," said Dr. Yvonne Hilton, a professor in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation department. "It is understood that obesity in America is growing fast, but maybe there should have been a different approach in informing the students about their health and building their awareness."

Sophomore Lousie Kaddie agrees.

"It's not up to Lincoln to tell me how much my BMI should be. I came here to get a degree and that's what the administration should be concerned with," she added



Headlines are making it sound like you must pass a bmi test to pass, but it sounds more like you'll just have to take phys ed if you fail one. I'm not sure how I feel about this...on one hand, your weight has nothing to do with your education, but we really DO need to do something to stop the alarming trend toward obesity in our society.

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[deleted account]

If it's going to be mandatory, then why not make it mandatory for everyone? We had to take a phys ed class at my undergrad university-but it was all of us, not just those who had a high BMI.



Anyway, I don't think that a mandatory class in college is going to change much about the way people are-maybe it will for a few, but I have a feeling that the overwhelming majority of people are going to feel discriminated against and, if they don't outright leave the university, they'll be too pissed to get much from the class. The time to intervene in these things is when people are younger anyway-learning to eat well and exercise as a kid and developing that as a good habit would be much more useful than forcing college students to take a phys ed class.

Sara - posted on 11/26/2009

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My first thought is: Why does it matter to them? You're paying for an education, not for someone to tell you you're a fatass. I think this is way out of line, personally. I understand wanting the student population to be more aware of their health, but to me, this is crossing the line.

JL - posted on 11/26/2009

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Oh..heck no. I do not agree with this at all. The cost of college is sky rocketing everyday and now they want to add another requirement for some students to pay for not because it is needed academically but because they don't like someones lifestyle. They want to discriminate against people battling with their ongoing issues with food.



Sorry but I don't see how this relates to educating people unless they are overwieght and getting a degree in physical education. Someone's BMI is really not their business.



And like Jocelyn pointed out are they also going to require some course for all those underweight all those skinny people with food issues.

Jocelyn - posted on 11/26/2009

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Oh and if they are going to discriminate against those with higher BMI, they should go both ways and make it mandatory for ppl with lower BMI's. For instance if it's under 20 then they need to gain weight!

Jocelyn - posted on 11/26/2009

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I think that while in theory it's a good idea, I don't think it should be based on BMI. If they wanted to do it properly they would need extensive physicals to determine their actual percentage of body fat. I read somewhere (in school I think) that Dwayne Johnson's (the rock) BMI was something outrageous like 31. BMI doesn't take into account muscle (or in my case boobs lol...my BMI was 28 last time I checked, so I guess that makes me obese...I only have a 30 inch waist!)
I think their are better ways to go about the obesity problem. Maybe make a food nutrition course part of the general first year, take out all the fast foods, free gym membership etc etc.

Sarah - posted on 11/26/2009

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You know,some schools here stopped serving chips and stuff to the students, and the mum's were coming down to the school at dinner time and giving their kids burgers and chips over the fence!!!

I do think that's a good idea tho Laura! :)

Sarah - posted on 11/26/2009

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I think the idea is kinda a good one, but not for a university!!!
P.E should be pushed from a FAR younger age. My daughters school does at least 1/2hr of PE every day. You need to start getting kids active long before university/college age.

Once they are at Uni or whatever, forced PE classes are just going to be source of embarrassment and degradation.

If they really want to help obese students, why don't they give them discounted/free gym membership or swimming classes or weight loss programmes or something instead?

Traci - posted on 11/26/2009

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By the time you are old enough to go to college, a phys ed class is not really gonna make a difference in your overall health picture. This is just a bunch of people with the "do-something" disease. I swear, people just have WAY too much time on there hands these days....sittin' around thinking up ways to screw with people and control them....errrr.

[deleted account]

Wrong....so very wrong. These are university students, they're old enough to be making their own decisions about their health and diet. It's not up to the university to force them to do something they don't want. What happens if they fail the phys ed class? Do they have to redo it, thus costing them more in tuition and other costs? I hated phys ed and dropped it like a hot potato as soon as I was able to. I'm not an athletic person although I am active (I can't hit a baseball to save my soul but I love long walks). I'm not an obese person, could probably stand to lose a few pounds and have no idea what my BMI is, but I would be really insulted,annoyed etc. if I was being told I had to take this class.

Jodi - posted on 11/25/2009

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While I agree that something definitely needs to be done about the obesity problem, I don't believe that something like this is more than a temporary fix. In order to conquer the obesity problem, we are talking a change in lifestyle choices and habits, which BEGINS at a much younger age.

Compulsory physical education and health classes within the school curriculum beginning at pre-school would be much more likely to have a long-term impact, and to instil healthy habits into children. My kids' school has compulsory physical education classes a minimum of 6 hours per week, they also include some physical education and outdoor activity as homework (my son has had homework which included 1 hour of physical activity during the week at home). In addition, they have a health class each week in which they look at healthy eating choices, the food pyramid, and also discusses such issues as cleaning teeth, personal hygiene, etc. I think this is a fantastic program, and should be compulsory everywhere.

Healthy lifestyles start from birth, so putting a compulsory physical education program into University, while I can see what they want to achieve, is not going to get it done.

Marabeth - posted on 11/25/2009

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i agree that something needs to be done about the obesity trend in our society but i'm not sure if this is part of that something.. i think the university should look more at the big picture and ask themselves will making their students take a physical education class really force them to be healthier? probably not. the beauty of university is it's the beginning of being an adult but still hanging on to the options youth have. you have the freedom to explore life and it's choices.. maybe offering more alternative athletic options and interesting physical education classes like frisbee golf and martial arts would get students to live a more healthy lifestyle.. i can't imagine mandatory regular physical education would really be a means to an end they are envisioning.

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