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God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nanny State: Today the university, tomorrow the nation...

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Pennsylvania university's requirement that overweight undergraduates take a fitness course to receive their degrees has raised the hackles of students and the eyebrows of health and legal experts.

Officials at historically black Lincoln University said Friday that the school is simply concerned about high rates of obesity and diabetes, especially in the African-American community.

"We know we're in the midst of an obesity epidemic," said James L. DeBoy, chairman of Lincoln's department of health, physical education and recreation. "We have an obligation to address this head on, knowing full well there's going to be some fallout."

The fallout began this week on Lincoln's campus about 45 miles southwest of Philadelphia, where seniors - the first class affected by the mandate - began realizing their last chance to take the class would be this spring.

Tiana Lawson, a 21-year-old senior, wrote in this week's edition of The Lincolnian, the student newspaper, that 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."

In an interview Friday, Lawson said she has no problem with getting healthy or losing weight. But she does have a problem with larger students being singled out.

"If Lincoln truly is concerned about everyone being healthy, then everyone should have to take this gym class, not just people who happen to be bigger," she said.

The mandate, which took effect for freshmen entering in fall 2006, requires students to get tested for their body mass index, a measure of weight to height.

A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Students with one that's 30 or above - considered obese - are required to take a class called "Fitness for Life," which meets three hours a week.

The course involves walking, aerobics, weight training and other physical activities, as well as information on nutrition, stress and sleep, DeBoy said.

As of this fall, DeBoy estimated about 80 seniors - 16 percent of the class - had not had their body mass index tested nor taken the fitness class. Some of those students will likely be exempt from taking the class once they get their BMI results, he said.

Health experts applaud the school's intent, if not its execution. Mark Rothstein, director of the bioethics institute at the University of Louisville's School of Medicine, said being forced to disclose such health information is "at least awkward and often distasteful."

And it doesn't necessarily lead to the best outcomes, he said, noting that "when the (health) goals are imposed on people, they don't do that well in meeting them."

DeBoy stressed that students are not required to lose weight or lower their BMI; they must only pass the class through attendance and participation.

"It's the sound mind and the sound body concept," DeBoy said. "I think the university, to its credit, is trying to be proactive."

Some experts said recent amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act might lead to exemptions for morbidly obese students, who could argue that participating in the class would be dangerous.

Also, students need more than exercise, said Marcia Costello, a registered dietitian in the Philadelphia area. The university should make sure its dining halls and vending machines offer healthy choices, she said.

Costello, an assistant professor of nursing at Villanova University, also noted that body mass index can be misleading. Since muscle weighs more than fat, "it is possible to be overweight and still be physically fit," she said.

Lawson, a mass communications major, said while she believes her current BMI would exempt her from the class, she's going to take it anyway "because I would like to be healthier."

"This was a decision that I made," she wrote in The Lincolnian, "and that's the way it ought to be."

The BMI method is one of the least accurate ways to measure body fat. I'm speaking from personal experience. It was the method used when I was in the Canoe Club and while I'd always pass it always showed me as being a lardass. This despite being a gym rat who ran circles around men twenty years my junior.

If the "nanny-state mentality" is going to be pursued, they could at least use a more reliable method.

4 comments:

Arby said...

If the student body wants to make a statement, they should transfer to another school.

Subvet said...

Amen to that one.

MightyMom said...

funny. PE was required for all students back in Bear country.

and yes, part of that was nutrition counseling and learning different ways to measure BMI. (the best is to take it a couple ways and average the outcomes....and no, even that isn't perfect)

and just cuz someone isn't obese at 20 doesn't mean they won't be obese at 40. teaching good health habits can't hurt.

ceebee said...

Unreal. The rules/requirements should be for everyone. Not for a specific class or target. That's discrimination.

Schools in general are just a joke and a waste of money. Schools are nothing but broken promises and dreams. They teach people nothing of real value. The only thing schools teach is how to be subservient under a "one world government". No free thinking, no creativity, no independence in schools.

Better off using the internet for learning and education. You learn a lot more than being inside the box. A degree/diploma is nothing but a piece of paper.

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