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Lincoln University Won't Let Obese Students Graduate

If You Want to Graduate, Lose the Weight: Cool or Not?

After years of midterms, finals, and all-nighters, a group of students at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania are being told they are too fat to graduate. The private college's core curriculum states that students must have a body mass index (BMI) that falls below 30 to graduate. If not, they must  take steps to lose the weight by enrolling in a physical education class that meets three times a week for one semester — a requirement that has been part of the school's curriculum for the last three years.

While some students are upset over the school's judgment call on their weight and say it's discriminatory, school officials say that "no student should ever be able to leave Lincoln and not know the risks of obesity." Because Lincoln University is a private college, it is wholly within its rights to develop its curriculum in this manner.

What do you think of Lincoln University's policy?

Image Source: Getty
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clearskies clearskies 7 years
Ok I'm really torn by this but yes, they are a private school...soo if you disagree don't attend them or support them. On one side they aren't saying you have to look like Heidi Klum to graduate, they are saying you have to be under 30 BMI or attend workout classes. On the other hand...it is unfair for the students, who are still young adults btw, who have been raised with unhealthy eating and workout habits. They haven't developed their own heathly body habits yet.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
And, I volunteer at a battered women's shelter one to two times weekly (depending on the week), where I teach courses to the women and their children about health and fitness, so I actually care deeply about the health of a lot of people.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
:oy: Also, 5'4" and 165 is a BMI of 28.3, not over 30.
DivaDivine DivaDivine 7 years
Does the school also provide extensive nutritional education to students? Fitness alone won't help you lose weight...I learned that the hard way.
ninabonita82 ninabonita82 7 years
This is absurd! Education needs these criteria now? As long as you have the money to spend for school, brain to use during classes, you have the body to do the curricular and extra curricular activities you're good to go... And much more if you are willing to be educated, you're good for admission! This some kind of a joke. Education is for everybody. It's not for the rich alone, it's not for the thin or good body built but for everybody!
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I think it's kind of a dumb prerequisite...it implies that all people that are fat obviously need to learn to be active while all people that are "normal" weight don't need it. I know a lot of thin/normal weight people that are very unhealthy and sedentary and I know a lot of fit but fat people, so why not just make everyone who enrolls at the college take a PE class?
imariec imariec 7 years
Cool! But obesity sometimes can't be controlled, there should be medical exceptions, such as a thiroid problem.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
College degrees should be about education not about weight or smoking or any other personal choice habits. Having said that, I think requiring a nutrition class or a PE or health course is a great idea since it fits with the overall goal of graduating an educated society. I do not think that forcing people to change habits is right, but educating them is.
Flack Flack 7 years
Ah, BMI. We do know that it's been acknowledged that it's innacurate and based on incorrect assumptions, right? See here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/64577.php Now that that's been established, I respect the sentiment here, and I think requiring basic health and nutrition classes, as well as a standard of physical activity, is a fantastic plan. However, it isn't just the heavier folk who could use a wake-up call to a healthier lifestyle. I found the nutrition class I took during undergrad (as an elective) to be immensely valuable, and I sure could use that extra motivation these days to get my butt to the gym. For the record, I was a varsity rower with a BMI of 29. 205lbs sounds like a lot before you see it stretched over a 5'11" athlete.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I think that this would increase the use of crash or fad diets, where weight loss is extreme, unhealthy and lasts as long as the next burger. I would prefer to see the student have to demonstrate an understanding of living a healthy lifestyle, including food choices and exercise, and the college educating the kids on unhealthy choices.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 7 years
30BMIandKick and even outsung make a crucial point...I feel like many would look at the picture Fit posted as being representative of a 30 BMI, which it is clearly not. That was just the point I was trying to make. I think a class like Akasha mentioned would be helpful. And I was thinking about this earlier and figured that for this to be required to graduate then it would have to be in place when you enrolled, so like others clarified it is just required to take as curriculum, not to get a diploma. When core requirements change while you are enrolled you are usually (at least at my university) grandfathered in to the core requirements that were in place when you enrolled, so if this did affect graduation at one point it "should" only apply to new students who knew what they were getting into.
JuicyDumplings JuicyDumplings 7 years
My school requires students to take two courses in P.E. in order to complete our degree plans, and I think it's a great idea. This is geeky, but I didn't know how fun badminton was until I tried it!
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 7 years
are they for real???????? I know TONS of nurses who smoke, should they not be allowed to be certified as nurses since they are not "proving" that they have had an education about health? This is ridiculous. People can know all there is to know about healthy eating and still over eat and eat junk food.
Akasha Akasha 7 years
Also the problem with basing this on BMI is that body mass index is based on a person's weight and height. I know quite a few athlete's who's BMI is way above 30 but their body fat measurement is in the 10-15% body fat. If they are just having kids jump on a scale and then calculating their BMI they could be way off, especially considering that muscle weighs more than fat. Splintera : That means that the Williams sisters would be dangerously overweight as would a majority of the NFL, and most body builders and boxers. I'm concerned that since you can get out of the class by having a low BMI kids are going to crash diet by any means possible to not have to spend their money or the 3 hours per week that the class is. Considering that the college is claiming their reasons for the policy is because the majority of it's student body is more likely to suffer from high rates of heart disease and diabetes being African American. For those of you who aren't aware Lincoln University in PA is a historically black college. Having kids bring down their BMI rapidly could cause those very things they are claiming that it is trying to prevent. It's also promoting the stereotype that unless you are thin you cannot be successful.
Akasha Akasha 7 years
I'm curious as to whether the school does a BMI test before accepting students. If not how do you take someone's money that you know isn't up to your school's standards? Required classes are not a new thing, but should be an overall requirement not a targeted one. My college had a class that freshmen were required to take on early Friday mornings (7am) that dealt with excessive drinking, drug use, date rape, study tips and various other topics that you might deal with in college. The reason for the Friday morning class was because most upperclassmen didn't have classes on Fridays until mid/late afternoons which made Thursday the hot party night. The required class pretty much kept most freshmen from attending anything on Thursdays. If you missed more than two classes you were put on probation, three classes and it was an automatic fail. Showing up hungover was worse than not showing up as the teachers would bombard you with questions. The class was mostly participation based and sleeping or not participating was considered an automatic not present for the day. Every student was required to have passed this class in order to graduate, and it was an easy class to fail. From what I remember it was also a free class the first time you took it, and one of the most expensive classes you could imagine if you failed. Something like 3x's the per credit fee. According to the studies it helped a lot of kids that were away from home for the first time not go crazy.
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