Obesity is a huge issue for Americans, no pun intended. Over 34 percent of Americans are considered obese and almost 33 percent are considered overweight. Carrying around extra pounds also predisposes you to a host of health risks such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
As students, most of us are all too familiar with the freshman fifteen but for some schools, the issue of weight is creating heightened concern and unprecedented action.
Lincoln University in Pennsylvania requires incoming students to have their body mass index (BMI) measured. Students with a BMI of 30 or above are considered obese and are required to take a class called “Fitness for Life.” If the students fail to complete the course, which emphasizes physical activity, they cannot graduate.
This new requirement is causing quite a controversy.
Tiana Lawson, a senior at Lincoln University said she “didn’t come to Lincoln to be told that my weight is not in an acceptable range. I came here to get an education.”
James L. DeBoy, chairman of Lincoln’s department of health, physical education and recreation, thinks it is the university’s responsibility to help students have healthier lives.
“We know we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic,” he said. “We have an obligation to address this head on, knowing full well there’s going to be some fallout.”
Personally, I see both sides of the story. A person does not go to school to be told he or she is overweight and must change their lifestyle. However, if nothing is done about the health crisis we are facing then life will just get a lot worse for all of us.
What do you think? Post your comments below.