Should Losing Weight Be A Requirement For Graduation?

Lincoln University has recently been tangled up in a little controversy over a weight loss requirement for their students. It’s actually a Body Mass Index (BMI) requirement, and they ended up doing away with it because of an uproar amongst the students.

I found this story very intriguing. The requirement was that all students had to either have a BMI of 30 or below or else they had to take a class on nutrition. If neither option was completed before graduation, the student would not be able to graduate. Apparently, many (or at least the loudest portion) of the students felt that the requirement was “unfair” and “biased.”

I find this sad for a few reasons. The reason that is applicable to this website, and perhaps the most important, is that so many people want to fight against something that was put in place to help them get healthier. You can debate whether or not the policy would have been effective or if it was the best way, but it seems clear to me that the intention was good.

In a society where obesity is quickly getting out of control, perhaps all colleges and universities should be more proactive in teaching their students how to care for their bodies. The role of higher education is to help young people prepare for life and the workplace. Being healthy is very much a part of this. There are disadvantages to being over weight in both life and business. The students can cry about discrimination all they want, but the harsh reality is that they are only hurting themselves by fighting against those who are trying to help them.

Obesity causes, or contributes to, health problems. This can be a problem when finding employment and health insurance. Businesses carry a large portion of the healthcare cost of their employees. Health problems related to obesity can also cause absence from work. There is no reason why these factors should not influence an employer’s hiring decisions. Many businesses already offer incentives to their employees if they will take certain health improvement steps and penalties if they do not. I suspect that this trend will continue and become more prevalent over time. If students are subjected to similar situations in school, it will only help to prepare them for the realities of the work place, and they may even be healthier for it.

Your health is important. If you need to lose weight to improve your health, there is no time like the present to get started. Find a weight loss program that will give you the structure and motivation you need and then get started today.


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