More On University And School Fitness Classes And BMI Testing

The recent Lincoln University story that I wrote about has sparked some additional interest and conversation. It is my thought that the administrators of Lincoln University have really stepped forward beyond so many leaders in society and in education in recognizing the seriousness of the health risk that obesity poses to the Lincoln University student body. However, there are clearly some flaws in the application of those ideas and insights, as is inevitable with any efforts to make policy changes.
While I found some fault with applying fitness classes only to people with a high BMI, in general I do laud the wisdom and the intentions of the Lincoln administrators. It has caused many of us to think about other obesity prevention reforms and how they might ideally be applied and instituted. My first suggestion was the classes could be offered for every student and not just for those with a high BMI.
In addition, a real forward thinking policy would involve whole communities and school districts approaching this from a very early age and bringing in much greater emphasis on nutrition, weight and fitness at an early age. This is not a health problem we can sweep under the rug or avoid talking about because it is uncomfortable. We have to develop a vocabulary to talk about it to help kids get on a healthier track toward a healthy weight and not to a young adulthood that is comprised of doctor’s visits and insulin shots. Yet, we all recognize that any such interventions involving children are necessarily going to raise everyone’s awareness and consciousness of individual kids and their body shapes and sizes, something that will also have some negative consequences. But, we have to be able to find a solution and confront the issue of childhood obesity and obesity prevention without shying away from these difficult challenges because the health consequences are so grave and so sweeping.

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