December 7, 2009

U. lightens up on the heavy.

Under the glare of the public spotlight, the paternalistic school looked worse than the obese students.

20 comments:

Synova said...

" "Health is definitely important but should Anglo-European images of weight and body mass be imprinted on the minds of the young people who are our students?""

Oh, my.

Actually, I recall reading a long time ago that black women had far better self-images than white women because there were fewer black women on television and in print advertising so that the pressure to be stick thin wasn't associated with women who "look like me."

On the other hand, another possible racial connotation is that it's a black college that instituted an overtly paternalistic program like this. Granted, it seems they got significant push-back for it.

When I was in school there was a physical education requirement for everyone for graduation. Easy enough to include nutrition information that way and also easy enough to provide free facilities and classes for students who want to lose weight or get in shape.

Balfegor said...

When I was in school there was a physical education requirement for everyone for graduation.

Oh, I had that too. But that's because I went to nerd school. A large fraction of us (myself included) wouldn't have exercised at all if they hadn't made us.

vbspurs said...

I found a terrific site called "This is why you're fat" the other day. This is the perfect post to share it.

Cheers,
Victoria

JohnAnnArbor said...

U of Michigan used to require that you could swim to graduate. Either show up and prove you could swim from one end of the pool to the other, or take the beginner's swimming class.

They also banned students from having cars.

This was decades ago.

Joan said...

John, MIT also had the swimming requirement for graduation, and every year there was always a rush of the few idiots who had "forgotten" they needed to learn how to swim to get their diplomas. I'm pretty sure we had to take PE credits, too, but that's all become very hazy now.

I think a PE requirement is just fine, as long as it's required of everyone. Including diet and nutrition as part of the required PE curriculum would be great if the "settled science" (heh) regarding it were not so wrong-headed regarding dietary fat and the supposed relationship between increasing exercise and weight loss.

Paddy O. said...

"U of Michigan used to require that you could swim to graduate. Either show up and prove you could swim from one end of the pool to the other, or take the beginner's swimming class."

My school--Wheaton College--had the same requirement as of 1997, when I graduated. Olympic sized pool at that. Probably still do, especially since they've constructed a major health/fitness center in the meantime.

Had to also take an intro to health/fitness class our freshman year (I wrote a paper on fitness in the Bible). Then had to take 2 separate PE classes. Took volleyball my sophomore year and winter wilderness skills during Spring break my senior year which involved spending a week in north woods of Wisconsin sleeping, and doing everything, in snow.

Wheaton also had a pretty extensive Gen Ed requirement in general, something I'm still grateful for. Well-roundedness and all that--well, just the opposite as far as literally so.

Largo said...

vbspurs,

thank you!

Shanna said...

I found a terrific site called "This is why you're fat" the other day.

That site is awesome and gross.

I think it would be could to make all students take some sort of health class, but this wasn't really the way to do it. With all the potential health problems on a college campus, one wonders why they decided to focus on obesity, rather than say, alcohol, std's and pregnancy. Maybe they already focus on the other's, but is there a class?

Synova said...

The "why you're fat" website is funny. I don't think I could eat more than a bite even of the stuff that looked good though.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Next!!

Mandatory classes for the fugly. "To teach you the finer points of hair care, make up application, manicures and proper color, clothing and accessory coordination. And for the men. Shaving and beard grooming techniques for that urban metro look we are all trying to achieve."

You cannot graduate from college until you all look exactly the same and have that pre-packaged, cookie cutter, covergirl/guy glow.

Yay. Diversity.

vbspurs said...

Glad you enjoyed it, guys!

For a person like me, who finds it incomprehensible that people eat raw cookie dough, the site is like a cross between a hillbilly roadkill cooking guide and a peak at Michael Moore's larder.

Cheers,
Victoria

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We also had a phys ed requirement in college. They had lots of choices from the truly athletic like basketball to the mildly like folk dancing.

The difference between that program and this new Fat Curriculum is that EVERYONE had to take some courses and we weren't singled out or targeted.

Freeman Hunt said...

For a person like me, who finds it incomprehensible that people eat raw cookie dough,

What?!

And yow, that site is gross. Talk about suppressing the appetite.

Shanna said...

I don't think I could eat more than a bite even of the stuff that looked good though.

I generally agree (I've seen some gross, gross stuff on that site) but the other day I was at B&N and they had a turducken in the book version of that site. Seriously, what is wrong with a turducken? The people who included it have obviously never had one because those things are awesome. And how can you get fat on something you eat a piece of once a year, at most? Whatever.

traditionalguy said...

can we Think of a healthy weight requirement like the Mandatory use of seat belts and motocycle helmets? The the money invested in these kids education needs protection from early death and disability.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The the money invested in these kids education needs protection from early death and disability

Early death and disability is nature's way of weeding out the unfit.

Joe said...

I'm not opposed to PE classes; the colleges I went to had them (though it irritated me that despite taking fencing and being on the fencing team, I still had to take "fitness for life", which was widely considered to be a joke.)

The problem is when they required that a person lose weight. This is medically risky and simply doesn't have good science behind it.

To put it another way, if you gave doctors, or anyone, charts listing only a persons sex, weight and height and asked them to predict life expectancy for each person, they'd do WORSE than simply randomly guessing (this experiment has been done multiple times and the doctors have been embarrassingly bad at their predictions.)

Pogo said...

And what of the added risk to health and lifespan from sleeping around, even with 'protection'?

What about highly risky sports, like football, skiing, and skateboarding?

What about oral contraceptives and their side effects? Why not 'just say no' to sex?


Lincoln University in Pennsylvania is a buncha pikers.

jaed said...

I suspect DBQ has it right, and that this is about perceived social class. Lincoln is a historically black college and will benefit if its graduates are generally seen as slim and elegant and upper-middle-class-aspirational in general. Discouraging fat or plump students from attending will help amp up Lincoln's image, since body shape has become such a strong class marker.

MamaM said...

No concerns about alcoholism?

This sounds like another situation where perception is context dependent.