Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Too fat to graduate? Really? Lincoln U, YOU FAIL.

For those of you who have been to college, you know the plethora of stupid requirements that schools have for you to graduate. For me, it was some stupid requirement that we pass a "swim test"... swimming 3 laps in a pool. If you couldn't do it, then you had to take a semester of swimming. The reason for this dumb requirement harkens back to World War II and the fact that many of the graduates from Cornell were more than likely going to be required to serve in the Navy as officers, and thus must be able to swim.

It was stupid... but it applied to everyone. More of a nuisance than anything really.

However, Liconln University near my hometown of Philadelphia, PA has taken stupid requirements to the next ridiculous level. Apparently, if you are a student with a BMI over 30, you cannot graduate unless you take a physical education class. Period. Now, this doesn't apply to EVERY student... just the fatties.

Check out this vid:

Wow,Lincoln.... for real? YOU FAIL. You wanna know why? Besides being blatant discrimination and setting yourself up for a lawsuit or 50, your logic is faulty.

1. BMI has been criticized as a useless measure for assessing the health of individuals. BMI is calculated by taking your weight in kilograms and dividing it by the square of your height in cm... or something like that. The problem with BMI is that it doesn't take into account lean muscle mass, which everyone knows, weighs more than fat. Thus, atheletes, body builders and people who are just more 'muscle-ey' (like myself) are categoriezed as overweight/obese/morbidly obese... even though they are potentially more fit than someone with a 'normal' BMI.

::aside:: I really do not look like I weigh. I weight train 5 days a week and played soccer for 9 years... I can bench press my husband. Once. With great effort. I may burst a blood vessel in my eye trying... But I can do it. And he's not a small dude.

It also fails to take into account metabolic factors such as blood pressure, gluose tolerance and resting heart rate... all of which are much more highly correlated to a person's individual health than their weight.

Its a population measure... and a failure at that as well.

2. The professor states the policy is in response to a health disparity problem. I call bullshiggidy. Shenanigans. Foolywang. Here's why. Lincoln U, for those who don't know, is a Historically Black University. It follows that most of the students there are going to be Black. There are several studies that have come out suggesting that Black people in general have higher BMIs than other races/ethnicities regardless of fitness level or even clothing size, because IN GENERAL they have more muscle mass. For example a black woman and a white woman could both conceviably wear a size 8. However, due to actual body composition, the BMI of the black woman is going to be higher. So you are essentially using a flawed metric to address a 'false' disparity. Yeah... miss me with that. Also, you are discriminating against a group of people who already experience discrimination.

For real... fat people know they are fat. Stop making them feel bad about it. And stop standing in the way of them graduating.

3. The professor also said that they are trying to help students to be able to succed in their careers and futures by requiring them to take this class. As much as I abhor Fox News and their minions, this reporter hit the nail on the head: They've effectivly cemented the falsehood that fatties are lazy, stupid and can't possibly hold down a job or be successful.

Hmmmm... this smacks of a similar falsehood perpetuated about a group that, because of their physical characteristics, couldn't possibly make it through the rigors of higher education. Hmmm... what was that group again? Oh yeah. Black People.

What in the actual fuck, Lincoln?

4. Many colleges have physical education requirements... for the entire student body. My school made us take two semesters of physical education, regardless of body type. So Lincoln, why just the fatties? Lack of resources? Seriously? If you didn't have enough physical eduation teachers to institute this policy then why did you do it? Seems kind of ass backwards to me. Besides, there is no requirement for students who are 'underweight' to attend classes on eating disorders... but the fatties have to work up a sweat. Lady Cameroon o_O @ y'all.

For these four reasons, in my humble opine, Lincoln U can SAT ALL THE WAY DOWN and take a nice long sip of SHUT YOUR ENTIRE ASSES UP. I agree with the student body and munch on this chicken wing in solidarity with them.


Anonymous said...

decent opinion however, in regard to #1 I would like to see a link that supports your argument. Considering you are in a scientific field, I want to see a evidence that discredits BMI.
Your statements in regard to athletes is wrong: their BMI usually reflects their conditioning and training, i.e. it is low. Your statement in regard to bodybuilders is correct because their are other elements (supplements, drugs, vitamins, etc.) that skew the index. However, what is not true is your statement about people (such as yourself) who are more 'muscle-y'. Opinions are fine, but you should not pass them off as facts.


Blackberry Molasses/The Rebel Intellectual said...

Sorry its taken me so long to respond--- life happened.

Anyway, being that I work in public health and have done research about several health topics, including overweight and obesity, there is considerable argument within the medical community regarding the validity of the BMI as an accurate measure of overall health of a person.

the BMI curve is weight divided by the square of your height in inches. Mathematically speaking, given two people of equal weight, but one is slightly taller than the other, the taller person gets an advantage for being even an inch or two taller than their similarly weighted counterpart. But say that short person has lots of lean muscle mass, but that taller person is has more adipose (fatty) tissue? BMI does not take that into account at all. I know several health care practitioners (my mother being one ) who do not use BMI when assessing the health of their patients. They focus on metabolic measures such as blood pressure, HbA1C (glucose measures), cholesterol and hyperlipidemia as well as taking into account a person's diet and lifestyle.

As for scientific articles that directly question the validity of BMI as a measure of body fat vs. bone tissue, water and lean muscle mass:

From The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

From Nutrition:
Limits of body mass index to detect obesity and predict body composition
Nutrition, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 26-30

From The American Journal of Physical Anthropology: http://wlv.openrepository.com/wlv/handle/2436/8003

This has been your knowledge drop.