Thursday, November 26, 2009

Junk in your trunk? If so, you just might not graduate.

*
I am sure that we have all gotten our turkey and mac and cheese on by now. If you live anywhere in the continental United States you had a very big meal today and you are probably just sitting around letting the calories soak in.

So this is a perfect time to blog about this story.

It seems that Lincoln University, an HBCU here in Pennsylvania, has decided that if you are not healthy and watching your weight you could jeopardize your chances of graduating. The folks at Lincoln are tired of obese students not taking care of themselves and they have decided to take the knife and forks into their own hands.

"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."

Well hell yes Mr. DeBoy, you best believe that there is going to be "some fallout". You can't stop black folks from getting their grub on. And college students at that. Ain't gonna happen.

And I agree with honor student Tiana Lawson-who happens to be a senior- who says (and I am para-paraphrasing here) that she didn't go to Lincoln to be told about her weight; she went for an education. Let's just be glad that kids like Ms. Lawson are in college holding it down and hitting their books, instead of burdening them with the added pressure of having to watch their weight. If Ms. Lawson chooses she can worry about her weight later. Besides, how do we know that she isn't just as healthy as a size six freshman with a coke bottle shape?

"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."

Great. I wonder if they teach the kids to skip Thanksgiving in "Fitness for Life" classes?

Props to Mrs. Field and her sister who threw down in a way that is sure to make my BMI inch towards that 30 mark.

*Pic courtesy of The Grio.

89 comments:

NSangoma said...

~
These large-by-quadruple-large Negroes are the very reason we are having difficulty getting national health care. Having to pay for the medical care of people who will not discipline themselves and take care of themselves.

They knew what was up when they entered the freshman class of 2006.

A nice plump, rounded, tear-drop shaped ass and sexy thighs does not necessarily mean possessing a rear view that looks like and akin to the rear end of a fucking OX.

To hell with these buffaloe-butt hoe-ass motherfucking fools; and their nas-sti-dy mamas.
`

Blurred Orange said...

Generally, people of higher weights are more prone to diseases. Its just a fact. This class may seem inconvenient for some students now, but I've always believed that you must inconvenience yourself now to convenience your self later. Its pretty sad that bloggers are making this a race issue--even the Huffingtonpost(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/24/too-fat-to-graduate-linco_n_370037.html)emphasized the race of the students being held back in their senior years,like it was a plot by the administration."This spring, the new requirement will keep over two dozen students -- all black -- from graduating." Not once in their article did they mention that Lincoln college was an HBCU.

Anonymous said...

Well, they might have a point; people will discriminate against fat folks and it is a largely acceptable prejudice.

Gregory said...

"James L. DeBoy, chairman of Lincoln's department of health, physical education and recreation"

It seems that Mr Woodcock has a problem with the fat kids in his gym class. Seriously, Mr DeBoy, the fat kids know they're fat and have known it for some time. If you want to do something about this issue then start helping young parents with usable, not theoretical, nutrition information. That would be more helpful than punishing students who have enough to worry about.

Mack Lyons said...

I wouldn't worry about this. A few discrimination lawsuits plus the conspicuous absence of some of those alumni dollars and this mess will resolve itself in short order. The weight of a student should not be a concern to this and other institutions, only the quality of the education they receive.

Speaking of weight, I wonder if this institution's student insurance company had something to do with this...

La♥Incognita said...

When I saw this on the news it irked me. I think this borders some sort of violation of their civil rights. What if these students are healthy, have no problems with themselves, or prefer to be overweight? Furthermore, there are a colossal of personal reasons why some people might be significantly overweight, obese or morbidly obese.

And for those with the Health Care Premium rhetoric, please save it. Most obese or significantly overweight people don't even have Health care insurance to begin with. And for the ones who do, they don't weaken our health care system anymore than anorexics/bulimics, bikers, sky divers, mountain climbers, or other people who take wild chances with their limbs or collar bones in the name of outdoor sports. Please.

Blurred Orange, are there mandatory classes for students/people who are "prone" to sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction, alcoholism, or even mental illnesses? I would think these things also "inconvenience" people later on in life, not to mention others. But I guess you can't tell who these people are just by looking at them, so its not easy pointing that grand finger.

I wish some people would just stop pretending to care about "overweight" or obese people. If it disgust you to see someone obese or overweight, or if it makes you feel righteous to point out their visual "flaw", then at least admit it and deal with it. I always tell people, the only thing that detours me from becoming "overweight" has nothing to do with health reasons, its fear of how people would treat me. And what I find funny is that most who judge are already overweight on paper, and don't even realize it.

Having "fat" people in this world doesn't effect my personal life or mental state in no way compared to drunk drivers, psychotic drug addicts, rapist, thieves, murderers, lunatic bosses with undiagnosed mental illnesses etc etc. So lets just call this what it is, blatant discrimination and fatphobia. This isn't just about race, where are all the various Human Rights talking heads to help fight this? Never mind them, point the way to the attorney office.

Anonymous said...

Having "fat" people in this world doesn't effect my personal life or mental state in no way compared to drunk drivers, psychotic drug addicts, rapist, thieves, murderers, lunatic bosses with undiagnosed mental illnesses etc etc.


The cost of paying for the illnesses, surgeries, and hospital care for the various diseases brought on by being obese cost billions.

This is from the American Academy of Family Physicians: "In fact, a recent study from the CDC and the Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, N.C., estimates that costs attributable to obesity could be as high as $147 billion in 2008, up from $78.5 billion in 1998. The study was released July 27 during the CDC's Weight of the Nation conference in Washington.

According to the study, Medicare beneficiaries who are obese cost the federal program $600 a year more than normal-weight beneficiaries did in 2006. Across all payers, the difference was even greater, at $1,429.

Blurred Orange said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blurred Orange said...

“I think this borders some sort of violation of their civil rights.”

As much as you may think this violates their rights, above all this is a private institution. They have the right to implement whatever they want. If students can’t take a three hour a week gym class, they have every right to go to a public college.

“What if these students are healthy, have no problems with themselves, or prefer to be overweight?”

I think research show that there is a correlation to weight and disease …And to the second argument, many crack addicts have no problems with themselves and would prefer to continue to use drugs—but is it healthy for them? I am really getting sick of the “I can be fat as long as I’m ‘healthy’ argument”. Statistics show that this is not true and the two—obesity and health—rarely if ever coexist.

“And for those with the Health Care Premium rhetoric, please save it. Most obese or significantly overweight people don't even have Health care insurance to begin with. And for the ones who do, they don't weaken our health care system anymore than anorexics/bulimics, bikers, sky divers, mountain climbers, or other people who take wild chances with their limbs or collar bones in the name of outdoor sports. Please.”

Americans spend 147 billion dollars a year on obesity related causes....more than cancer or any other disease. You made many generalizations, but I think you should try referring to the facts. What statistics do you have that show that obese people don't usually have insurance?

"Blurred Orange, are there mandatory classes for students/people who are "prone" to sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction, alcoholism, or even mental illnesses? I would think these things also "inconvenience" people later on in life, not to mention others. But I guess you can't tell who these people are just by looking at them, so it’s not easy pointing that grand finger."

Wow…I like how you stayed on subject. Diverting will really boost your argument won’t it. I think you’re right about one thing; there are no classes in colleges targeted at these groups. But these subjects are integrated into most curriculums in highschools. Considering how bad the rates are for each of these in the U.S, I wonder what would happen if we targeted the groups most statistically prone to each. But that would never happen because rabble rousers with a sense of insecurity, such as you, would always call a foul.

"Having "fat" people in this world doesn't affect my personal life or mental state in no way compared to drunk drivers, psychotic drug addicts, rapist, thieves, murderers, lunatic bosses with undiagnosed mental illnesses etc etc. So let’s just call this what it is, blatant discrimination and fatphobia."

This isn’t what I would consider discrimination--it’s targeting a group that it would be most beneficial to. This is a HBCU, and unfortunately blacks have the highest rate of obesity in the U.S—probably due to the mentality you have outlined. The fact is that the college saw a problem in their community and sought a way to fix it. But I guess you’re one of those who only likes targeting when it comes to getting into colleges.

Shady_Grady said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with requiring obese students to avail themselves of additional education. There's a crisis of obesity in America, particularly among black women. This impacts health. College students often have to take mandatory courses on sexual harassment or alcohol abuse or diversity so this is really no different.

Along with diet modification, most obese people could see significant changes with as little as 15-30 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week.

There are so many diseases and conditions that are associated with or made worse by obesity.

Here's an interesting take on obesity in general (not about this particular case) by the writer Steve Barnes. As he writes, "No one's body disobeys the laws of physics"..

Weight and Conscious Humanity

Hathor said...

It should be mandatory for all students; just like some schools require some community participation to graduate. BTW, a person can get Type ll Diabetes and not be fat. When I was younger many black people died prematurely from having a stroke, during that time people were not overweight as much (regardless of the stereotype of black women), other factors such as diet and stress, played more of a role. Also our propensity to have Hypertension.

I have just seen a documentary on a study about infant mortality, it seems that healthy black middle class women who even get the best prenatal care, have to high a rate of infant mortality. They came to the conclusion that the stress black women have is one major factor. Being black may be a risk to ones health.

field negro said...

Great discussion. La~Incognita, you are en fuego girl. (Loved the rant)

Blurred Ornge and Shady make some good points as well.

Once correction: Blurred Orange, Lincoln does get a great deal of state funds. Someone who is more familiar with that school might comment and check me, but I am pretty sure that te bulk of their money comes from the state.

Anon. 1:46 am. Thanks foor the stats. But I am curious to know the stats ikn dollars for the care of some of the groups La~Incognita mentioned.

"It seems that Mr Woodcock has a problem with the fat kids in his gym class. Seriously, Mr DeBoy, the fat kids know they're fat and have known it for some time. If you want to do something about this issue then start helping young parents with usable, not theoretical, nutrition information. That would be more helpful than punishing students who have enough to worry about."

Funny AND insightful. :) FIVE * for Gregory.

NSangoma said...

~
Infant mortality, hmmm, ware dey husband at?

More bounce to the ounce!


Where dey daddy at?
`

Hathor said...

NSangoma,
This study wasn''t about single mothers.

Hathor said...

FN,
Lincoln University is consider a state related school. Its funding comes from the state but is not owned by Pennsylvania and it's management is independent. Other schools like this is University of Pittsburgh, Cheyney and Temple.

Sarge said...

Let's see, it comes down to, "Your life-style is gonna cost me money in the end, so serves ya right, ya fat tubba shit".

Sounds just like what happened when they went after smokers. Almost the same words in some cases.

I don't know, but I'm guessing that this class they have to take isn't going to be free?

So, a group of academics has decided that they have the right and power to hold both your past work and your entire future hostage unless you conform to some physical norm/ideal?

What's next? Will you have to have straight teeth? A certain skin tone? Be able to physically climb a rope, hand over hand in three seconds flat?

It was interesting to hear their spokes person on NPR. He trotted out the usual "for their own good" crap, and then said something more interesting.

His words were to the effect that colleges/universities main job was to 'select out' the undesireables, serve as a filter and gate to the plate that has society's goodies, as it were.

Can't have unattractive people getting their pudgy hands on anything like success, only so much to go around, I suppose.

field negro said...

Thanks Hathor. I thought it was something like that but I wasn't sure.

Sarge, you are a person after my own heart. :)

Anonymous said...

We are a nation of fat asses and it is getting worse.
Fat-Oil-Sugar the major food groups of our society.

Anonymous said...

Why are HBCUs run like high schools? First Morehouse with their dress code and now this. If you want to be treated like adults I suggest you choose other schools.

Kera LaShawn said...

Shady Grady said something that stuck out to me...
"College students often have to take mandatory courses on sexual harassment or alcohol abuse or diversity so this is really no different."

Notice how he says "College Students have to take mandatory classes..." Meaning EVERY STUDENT has to take an assortment of classes. They don't make just male students take the sexual harassment class. And they don't make just the Fraternity students take the Alcohol abuse class...So why only make people who appear to be unhealthy take a gym class. If they are going to make it a requirement, then they should require it from every student. I was a chubby little kid, and my family were all over me, I went to gyms, fat camp, I was on every type of diet knows to man before I turned 13...But I grew out of it...I went to my high school reunion a couple of years ago, low and behold, all the ones that made fun of me are now big and fat, and I am not.

I know that when you're in school you eat whenever and whatever you can get your hands on, and unfortunately a box of fried chicken at KFC is cheaper than broiled fish and asparagus tips...And I don’t know how many college students you know but the ones I now are broke.

Anonymous said...

This is from October's Wall Street Journal: "The costs are nearly as startling. In a study published this week in the journal Health Affairs, CDC researchers estimate that obesity now accounts for 9.1% of all medical spending—$147 billion in 2008. The Milken Institute estimates that chronic disease costs more than $1.2 trillion every year. On top of the medical resources devoted to preventable illness, a fatter and sicker work force is a drag on economic growth. In effect, we’re eating money.

The CDC puts the annual per capita increase in Medicare spending attributable to obesity at 36%. Medicaid comes in at 47%. An earlier Health Affairs paper notes that if the prevalence of obesity were merely at 1987 levels, Medicare spending would be at least $40 billion a year lower.

John B. said...

Blurred Orange: Lincoln is NOT a private institution. It used to be, but it became a "Commonwealth" institution of the State of Pennsylvania sometime in the '60s, along with the University of Pittsburgh, Temple and Penn State. That means it is run independently but is supported by the taxpayers and charges tuition comparable to state universities.

All I can say is, the intentions here are good, but I agree that a few lawsuits, & the loss of alumni dollars will put an end to this misguided policy.

Luv said...

Don't allow the issue of this man saying it may affect their ability to graduate cloud the immense issue of obesity in the black community.

It has been killing us for generations and we just accept it as "the way we are." We do a LOT of stupid things that's accepted as "the way we are."

Anonymous said...

If you want to get fat, that's your choice; however, my tax payer dollars (as referenced by anon 11:20) are going far to often to pay for people's irresponsibility.

Two things we need to do. Tax highly sugar filled and fat laden products like we do alcohol and cigarettes. Secondly, we do need to everything in our power to push for the proliferation of fresh fruits and vegetables and not preservative filled, processed foods.

Bob said...

Lincoln is a real value. I think they're right to be concerned. But they ought to approach the matter beginning with Freshman orientation, in a non-coercive manner. According to the website, Lincoln has an on-campus KFC express & serves BBQ Pork Chops, Fried Pollock, & cheese Tortillina Alfredo in the faculty dining room. So maybe Mr. DeBoy should first see what kind of example the professors are providing.

maria said...

all they have to do is attend class. that's not too much to ask. there's no weigh in. i heard this story on NPR with an interview from one of the profs.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

One class 3 hrs per week? Take it and shut your fat ass up.

hennasplace said...

Bob has a point how can Lincoln University implement such a rule when it should look at its vendors and own cateria. College students do not have any money and will purchase food that is fast and cheap. There is a tendency that some people begin to gain weight during the college years. There are myraid reasons why people gain weight, and the research is still out on what causes obesity. I think they should just look at the BMI because under the standard, George Clooney would be considered overweight.

I do not fathom why university who charge an arm and leg to attend, and have the audacity to look at someone's weight when they bare some responsibility of what food vendors come onto the campus.

I am not saying that students should not watch what they eat, but they do not have access to prepare their own meals unless they live at a faternity or sorotity. Perhaps they should be some cooking facilities at colleges and universities where students can cook meals for themselves. I always thought it was better that people should cook for themselves so they know what is going in their food and control the amount of fat and salt used. I know the pizza I make at home is much healthier than at a pizzeria because the serving is normal.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

High Fructose corn syrup. Look it up. It is one of the major contributors to obesity in Amurkkka.

You can also rean my rant on the topic of corn at:
http://sagacioushillbilly.blogspot.com/2009/10/corn-culture.html

chivug said...

You can't stop black folks from getting their grub on.

What the hell is this supposed to mean? Speak for yourself, not a group. You may like to get your grub on (as your big belly can attest), but to place that statement on a race, ridiculous.

grinder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grinder said...

Were the students told upon entry and payment of fees that they'd be refused graduation if they were too fat?

Beyond that, I think that if you earn a diploma, you should get it. I understand the intention, but the policy is wrong and should be abolished.

grinder said...

By the way, when we had this discussion a while back, I showed numbers to the effect that black men are equally obese relative to white men. That finding surprised me. I thought there'd be more obesity among black men than among white ones.

But when comparing women, blacks are FAR more likely to be obese than whites. The degree of that difference also surprised me. So I can really understand what the college is trying to do, but withholding diplomas from kids who have put the work in? That's just wrong.

LaTonya Bynum said...

I think it is wrong to single out only the obese (BMI 30 +) students, because we know from research that underweight/healthy weight people can have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Obese people are being discriminated against in many ways. Next, will we have all of the LGBT community students taking a specialized class on human sexuality.

Anyway, happy thanksgiving to all of you.

kathy said...

My biggest issue with using the BMI is that the medical profession has this little habit of looking at charts and graphs without even looking at the person, and also, I would question the graphs and charts for who they were designed for.

It would be good if all students were required health and nutrition classes but it's unfair to use a chart and graph to single out.

I didn't eat any turkey yesterday, we had teriaki salmon with lettuce and tomato, ok the lemon, wine, butter sauce was quite high in calories, but then I snuck in some toasted barley with high fiber, my kids think it's rice:))

LaTonya Bynum said...

By the way, yesterday I asked my family to start a new tradition "taking a walk" after the meal. You know they said "it's a bad dog in this neighborhood". What excuses!!

kathy said...

"because we know from research that underweight/healthy weight people can have high cholesterol and high blood pressure."
______________
Yes, that is a great point, La Tonya

maria said...

they aren't being told they can't graduate if they are over-weight. They were told only to attend class.

field negro said...

Great comments all. You all are making me think. But the libertarian in me still says that this is wrong. We really have to watch the "nanny state" take over.

Wait...

"What the hell is this supposed to mean? Speak for yourself, not a group. You may like to get your grub on (as your big belly can attest), but to place that statement on a race, ridiculous."

Oh no you didn't "chivug". "Big belly"? -That just might be projection on your part- . But I tell you what; your favorite charity against mine for all the $ you want. Post a pic of your gut and I will post a pic of mine and we will let the readers decide whose is bigger. DEAL??

"I think they're right to be concerned. But they ought to approach the matter beginning with Freshman orientation, in a non-coercive manner. According to the website, Lincoln has an on-campus KFC express & serves BBQ Pork Chops, Fried Pollock, & cheese Tortillina Alfredo in the faculty dining room. So maybe Mr. DeBoy should first see what kind of example the professors are providing."


Co-sign w/Bob.

Anonymous said...

What they should do is offer the course as an elective and provide healthier food overall in the cafeteria(s).

May not hurt to also start an on-campus awareness campaign about the pitfalls of being overweight and obese. Offer some tips on the no-cost/low-cost things students can do to reduce their weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle. This is a public health issue, so the school, as a recipient of some public dollars, is probably within its right to present the issues to its students, although coerceing participation may not be lawful.

field negro said...

Anon 2:34 pm, that might have been the best solution. I like where your comments were going as well.

Anonymous said...

My biggest issue with using the BMI is that the medical profession has this little habit of looking at charts and graphs without even looking at the person, and also, I would question the graphs and charts for who they were designed for.


You don't need a BMI chart to tell is someone is obese.
Secondly, with the explosion in obesity in the past couple of decades it's unlikely that it's a matter of genetics for most people.

Anonymous said...

But when comparing women, blacks are FAR more likely to be obese than whites.

That's an issue that needs to be explored further.

Shady_Grady said...

I don't want to repeat what Barnes wrote in the link I gave above but I really do think it was an excellent overview of issues surrounding obesity. I hope folks take a look.

My feelings are that I don't like colleges telling people what to do in their personal lives BUT colleges have a certain parental role to play. Since we've already allowed them to get involved in other non scholarly issues something like this was just a matter of time.

Americans overall are getting fatter. It's not just a Black thing. But something like 80% of Black women are overweight or obese. That's a major problem. I think the ratio for Black men was like 60% or 65%. So this impacts both genders.

Yes there are some people who are overweight and have normal blood pressure or blood sugar. There are also people who can sit down and play in busy traffic and not be hit by cars or folks that ride motorcycles without helmets, get into an accident and walk away without a scratch or individuals that smoke two packs a day and live to their nineties healthy as can be. But for most people those behavior patterns are not wise..

To paraphrase from that link, an obese person just has issues more visible to the rest of us. It doesn't mean everyone else doesn't also have damage they need to fix.

But let's not pretend that BMI doesn't give a roughly accurate indication of body fat. BMI, along with more precise body fat calculations and waist measurements tells most people if they're in the unhealthy range. The people for whom BMI is less useful (athletes, bodybuilders, etc) represent a very small minority of the population.

My understanding is the class is just a sharing of information and some moderate activity. Frankly something like that could save lives down the line. Since 2006 anyone attending the college knew what the rules were. If they chose to attend they should adhere to the rules. No one is forcing them to lose weight before graduating. If they wish to be contrary they can take the class and ignore any recommendations completely.

The class is only required for the obese-not the overweight.

I am sympathetic to the argument that "well everyone should take the class" but ultimately I think that argument is trying to deflect attention from the work that the obese person will have to do to lose weight or more importantly, why the person got obese in the first place or prefers to remain that way.

Sharon from WI said...

Students suffered enough with PE in high school. As you said Field, let her worry about her weight later, if she so chooses. She is in school for an education.

Sharon from WI said...

These large-by-quadruple-large Negroes are the very reason we are having difficulty getting national health care. Having to pay for the medical care of people who will not discipline themselves and take care of themselves.<<

NSangoma,

You should venture by the cream puff line at the Wisconsin State Fair in August. The rear ends of the (white) farm wives in line for a cream puff are large enough to make you faint. And I am not talking Sir Mixalot, I like me some buns, hon, big. I am talking Wide Load big.

So, it's not just black folk who need to leave Mickey Ds alone and leave off with the fried and fatty foods.

It's not called a *national* problem for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Students suffered enough with PE in high school. As you said Field, let her worry about her weight later, if she so chooses. She is in school for an education.

The taxpayers will worry about it later to when their insurance premiums go up, or they have to pick up the medicare tab.

c.c.-kathy said...

Sharon, you should see the line of white women at the HomeTown Buffet, omg, it is a national problem, yes, and I think somebody already mentioned high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil in our food, plus all the additives that are very hard to digest.

Sharon from WI said...

One class 3 hrs per week? Take it and shut your fat ass up.<<

For a full time student with a 12-credit load, three hours a week is a good chunk of your class time.

Sharon from WI said...

Sharon, you should see the line of white women at the HomeTown Buffet, omg, it is a national problem, yes, and I think somebody already mentioned high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil in our food, plus all the additives that are very hard to digest.<<

I would love to see the day when corn syrup is not in nearly everything we consume. There are products, e.g., ketchup, jelly, that you wouldn't expect to have corn syrup as an ingredient have corn syrup in it. It seems that you just can't get away from it.

Someone posted earlier that this campus had fast food joints on campus. Eliminating that and replacing the canteen and food court with healthier fare would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

For a full time student with a 12-credit load, three hours a week is a good chunk of your class time.

There are people with full time jobs who find time to got to gym. It's something everyone should do; the health benefits over one's life time are enormous.

maria said...

field--the libertarian in me and the PARENT in me thinks parents need to teach good nutrition to their children beginning at a very young age, and model both healthy eating habits and exercise.

a class at a college level is unlikely to have much impact.

in addition to raising your kids to be moral and ethical folks, teaching them to be physically healthy seems to me an important lesson.

we know a lot more now about the link between diet and illness, and we have so many more food choices than we used to--some of them very bad ones.

there's no denying that 70% of health care costs come from treating chronic illnesses--heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer-all diet related.

what SHOULD the school's role be?

c.c.-kathy said...

"Someone posted earlier that this campus had fast food joints on campus. Eliminating that and replacing the canteen and food court with healthier fare would be a good start."
___________
so true, and also, corn syrup is in everything, somebody told me that the corn lobbiests and industry is one of the most powerful in the United State.
I even found hfcs in vinegar, it's everywhere!

c.c.-kathy said...

Maria, being a parent myself, schools do have a role, in the food that they offer. A few years ago, my daughter had a teacher who lectured the parents about healthy snacks, but one little girl who had a weight problem was eating potato chips for snack, when I asked my daughter why her mother would send in chips for a snack, my daughter told me that the school was selling them, geez, now that is hypocrisy to me.

Sharon from WI said...

I even found hfcs in vinegar, it's everywhere! <<

In vinegar!? See what I mean?

And the thing is, HFCS does not even mean the product is better tasting.

I was at a local restaurant for breakfast and they served this heavenly strawberry jam with my toast; I hadn't tasted anything like it in years.

The waitress later informed me that we could buy the same jam from the store and, lo and behold, the ingredients listed were strawberries, water and sugar...no corn syrup.

So out of curiosity, when I go home, I looked at the jar of Welch's in the 'fridge and sure enough, corn syrup was among the ingredients.

c.c.-kathy said...

Yes it is even in some vinegars, the flavored ones, and I don't think that it adds one bit of flavor, either.
In jelly too, you have to pay more to get jelly without hfcs

Sharon from WI said...

The one way I think you can get around the cost is getting kosher for Passover products, which have no corn syrup. Otherwise, like the jam in Beans and Barley, you are definitely going to pay more.

Bob said...

My nephew had a weight problem when he graduated high school & was outright fat when he graduated college. I think it's because colleges now have all-you-can eat dining hall buffets & flexi-buck plans where students can use their meal cards at the fast food counters & cafes on campus. So although colleges offer healthy food, including full veggie menus, a student could pretty much eat nothing but donuts, hoagies, sausage pizza, & cheese fries.

c.c.-kathy said...

Hey, Sharon, thanks for the tip about kosher foods, I think kosher food is supposed to be free of red food dyes too?

Constructive Feedback said...

Filled Negro:

Its a shame that this policy was enacated at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania instead of Lincoln Univerisity in Missouri.

In monitoring the antics of Rachel Maddow she likes to blame the aliments of a particular 'victimized' segment of the population upon the Republican government that is failing them. She points to the Southern states as having a higher amount of health ailments as compared to the enlightened North.

There is no attempt to point to personal and cultural choices that are clear - expecially among Black folks in certain parts of the South. In two small towns that I have in mind in South Carolina while the Black people cook some good food the unfortunate consequence of this food culture is that obesity rates are above average.

I support a policy of awareness on the dangers of obsity and that this message should be made universal rather than targeting people per their BMI.

At the same time the solution must be one of personal consciousness where the INDIVIDUAL is made to see how their dietary and exercise choices directly correlate with their health outcomes.

JohnCrow said...

I only have one question:

the 4 or 5 years these kids were hitting the books did anyone at anytime tell them that weight and not G.P.A was the standard for graduating?

This is ridiculous so a student who get a 4.0 G.P.A can't graduate because of their weight, but obviously a jock who barely passed to get a degree gets to graduate because he/she have an "ideal weight".

i don't know know if this is as extreme as in some other countries. In Japan there is a national law against being fat. If a man or woman fails to meet the waist requirement (failure is determined by a monthly waist measurement done by Min of Health at corporate offices, colleges,etc) they have to pay a "fat tax" a penalty which is use to fund state hospitals.

Plus some companies in Japan won't hire you if you are left-handed. There are classes where Japanese parents send their left-handed children to learn to write right-handed.

Reggie said...

Our country is supposed to be about individual rights. At some point in time as individuals we have to make a personal choice about ourselves.....no one else should be doing that.

When I was a kid physical fitness was more of an integral part in going to school, now.......it's gone the way of the dodo.

Any damned fool can eat themselves to death, but everyone should have a choice to do so or not. I'm actually within what's supposed to be my weight....or rather according to the BMI I weight what I'm supposed to weigh. I feel good at this weight, but everyone isn't me.

It is what it is.

Sharon from WI said...

You're welcomed, Kathy. Snopes says that the dye extracted from bugs won't be found in kosher foods, but as far as natural (non-bug) dyes are concerned, Google kosher foods and dyes.

http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/bugjuice.asp

c.c.-kathy said...

Sharon, thank you for the link about dyes and kosher food. Interesting, I thought that red dye in food came from shell fish.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a step in the right direction. I look at teenagers and college kids today and cannot believe how morbidly obese these young people are. It was unacceptable to be fat 20 years ago when I was in college. Now, its the norm and it is not healthy. Colleges should encourage healthy lifestyles because people generally get even heavier as they age (at least in this country). These schools could start by requiring physical education or sports and making sure that they food served int heir cafeterias isn't contributing to the problem.

ghetto whiteboy said...

I said it in a blog a long time ago.Obama-don'tcare.get rid of that
booty and if those titties fall off
before your fifties.they weren't no good anyway.Oh and its going to take funding away from the disabled
to help the poor? Obama you can't even get that shit right, it's the Rich Obama, The Rich, You dumb ass uncle Tom.When Obama said hes going to redistribute the wealth.
He's was talking about giving it to
Kenya.Our dumb asses he's just putting back to slavery.You really think the whole world going to rise
to our standards? when they can pay the rest of the world seventy cents a day and they work hard TOO
Pleassssssse.

La♥Incognita said...

”…this is a private institution. They have the right to implement whatever they want.”

That’s what you think, and where should the line be drawn? What's next?

“I think research show that there is a correlation to weight and disease”

No one is trying to dispute the health risk, but it still doesn’t have to apply to every “overweight” looking person you lay your eyes on. Here’s my issue, it becomes a sad day when “fat” people have to be singled out to take the “fat class” in order to graduate. Yes, that’s what it is, the fat class. Why can’t it be mandatory for EVERYONE, it will benefit them too, no? I guess insecure “PC fit” ramble rousers like yourself will cry foul and feel like you’re being punished for “fat” people.

Btw, there is no reason for me to feel insecure on this issue. One shouldn’t have to be “fat” in order to see or admit wrong is wrong.

“many crack addicts have no problems with themselves and would prefer to continue to use drugs—but is it healthy for them?”

So now you’re comparing overweight people to crack heads? And funny how you used crack heads oppose to meth heads or coke heads.

“Americans spend 147 billion dollars a year on obesity related causes.”

Go ahead, bring out the long list of causes. But make sure none of them are diseases/conditions that “PC fit” people also fall victim to.

“…more than cancer or any other disease.”

That’s what you think. And how much do you think we spend on just the “skinny patients” with these individual cancers? Lung, breast, colon, endometriosis, ovarian, and prostate… just to name a few? Bring out your stats.

(Warning: This is where I’m going to ruffle feathers, or get blocked on this very blog, so stop reading now)

Here’s a taboo question, tell me why can’t we equally ridicule the skinny cancer patients who may very well be crippling the system more than other groups? Remember, many obese people lack private insurance anyway, and they don’t get the long lasing sufficient health care. They get sick, and family watch them die in no time. Do you see the hypocrisy? You never hear anyone talk about how some of our beloved cancer victims/survivors who may have neglected their yearly mammograms, pap smears, prostate checks, colonoscopies etc. I too am guilty for not getting my annual pre-screening checkups which could help save MY life and YOUR insurance premium one day.

And notice how no one wants to openly ridicule people with HIV/AIDS anymore. Maybe it’s because we’ve learned that it’s not a “gay” disease after all. Any of us can catch it, or GOD-forbid be falsely accused of having it and get discriminated against based on a rumor. Let’s just pretend to be “PC” and spit out billions on pharmaceuticals, clinics and social workers. In the interim, lets talk about “fatty”.

FlyNMy40s said...

'bout dam time!!!

La♥Incognita said...

“What statistics do you have that show that obese people don't usually have insurance?”

And where are your stats to show they usually do? Most health carriers discriminate against the barely overweight, much worse the obese. Even significantly overweight and obese people who are qualified for jobs are still likely to get discriminated against by highly paid corporations with upscale health benefits.

“I think you’re right about one thing; there are no classes in colleges targeted at these groups, but these subjects are integrated into most curriculums in highschools.”

Just the same we already had P.E. in highschool. As for the other vices, there are still individuals with revolving STDs, untreated mental illnesses, alcoholism, and various drug dependencies. Again, I’m not seeing anyone mandating a class for these groups to take in order to graduate. My apologies for “diverting” again.

“This is a HBCU”

How convenient for you to mention. Still doesn’t make it any better.

“…and unfortunately blacks have the highest rate of obesity in the U.S—probably due to the mentality you have outlined.”

I could get into a whole thesis as to why so many black people/women might be overweight as compared to other races. I mean, I can tell you about the dynamics of oppression and self-medication through food, bad generational eating habits and the history behind it. I could even tell you about the economics regarding healthy foods vs. cheap foods. However, this is where your true ignorance and biases are showing the most, why should I waste my time? It’s too draining. If you really care with a vested interest, good. If you're just an outsider pointing the finger, then you're not needed. Keep your opinions to yourself and take care.


I also agree with Gregory and others regarding nutritional education.

Kera, I saw that too.

Anonymous said...

Why can’t it be mandatory for EVERYONE, it will benefit them too, no? I guess insecure “PC fit” ramble rousers like yourself will cry foul and feel like you’re being punished for “fat” people.


Because I have something called the gym that I go to four days a week, on my own. no one has to force me to go. People in college are supposed to be educated, or getting there. It shouldn't be hard for them to figure out how to exercise and not eat fast food every day. However, some people need their hand held. Let's stop making excuses for COLLEGE EDUCATED people.

Anonymous said...

I don't like it but it's not as bad as it's been reported. It's pretty much a course requirement and you don't have to lose weight just take the course. It's sort of like having to take a remedial course in math even if you don't end up taking any regular math courses in college (you can take substitutes to complete BA/BS req's). You still have to meet the basic requirement of all entering students and do so with remedial. Here, the college is basically requiring a minimum fitness entry or in lieu of minimum fitness a course in fitness. The biggest difference is that weight is seen as a sensitive issue. Folks get upset when it's pointed out because they've endured a lifetime of teasing and/or stigma about it.

That said, it's also pretty painful to be told you're not up to standard in a basic subject and will have to take a remedial course and those folks surely also went through a lifetime of teasing and/or stigma about being dumb. Still a little sensitivity in how things are presented would help. Just make all students take a mandatory fitness course because even the the fit ones can't rely on their metabolism forever and could learn a lot about staying fit after college and in the workplace.

--j

Anonymous said...

Just make all students take a mandatory fitness course because even the the fit ones can't rely on their metabolism forever and could learn a lot about staying fit after college and in the workplace.


Once again, people who take care of themselves, workout, and eat right don't need a remedial class. If you are going to have a class, do it for those folks who need it. I can hit the gym on my own time.

Anonymous said...

@anon 9.09 -- Staying fit isn't all about the gym. There's a lot to learn and the silent epidemic of high blood pressure is killing seemingly fit adults at very young ages because our food supply has changed so much in the last 50 years. Salt additives in outrageous amounts are everywhere even in seemingly 'healthy' foods. Corn syrup is also everywhere. Those are just two things that are undermining fit people's health and silently ruining it. There are plenty more. There's nothing wrong with a health and fitness class. Unless you're a major, almost everyone could learn something they don't already know.

--j

Anonymous said...

Preach it.... La-incognta Preach!!

Angie-in-Japan said...

JohnCrow said: "i don't know know if this is as extreme as in some other countries. In Japan there is a national law against being fat. If a man or woman fails to meet the waist requirement (failure is determined by a monthly waist measurement done by Min of Health at corporate offices, colleges,etc) they have to pay a "fat tax" a penalty which is use to fund state hospitals."

Hey there, John. Thanks for the info...interesting!! I've been living here for 16 years and have never heard of a 'fat tax.' Is this a recent thing or something that happened years back...? Off to the company now and will ask my co-workers about it.

Seven of my years here I worked for the Japanese government as a public servant...and the past 9 1/2 in a major Japanese company. During my time as a public servant, we had mandatory health checks, but nobody (including Japanese nationals) were penalized for being overweight. National Japanese insurance provides yearly health checks and those who are found to be overweight and/or obese are encouraged/helped to lose weight. Ultimately, the choice belongs to the individual. Of course, those who are overweight are discriminated against, just like in America and many other countries. On the other hand, overweight/obese Japanese tv personalities are the new "thing." Similarly, I know of a wedding chapel in my city that refused to hire a foreign wedding singer because she didn't have enough meat on her bones. Guess that whole weight issue swings both ways...!

Anyway, what about the wafer thin folks walking around campus? Are there mandatory classes for them to learn how to eat "correctly" as well?

Anonymous said...

Angie-in-Japan, "Hey there, John. Thanks for the info...interesting!! I've been living here for 16 years and have never heard of a 'fat tax.' Is this a recent thing or something that happened years back...? Off to the company now and will ask my co-workers about it."

Dear Angie, I too lived in Japan and never heard of such a 'fat tax.' I spoke to my Japanese Zen Master and he said that whoever claimed that is full of shit. Considering it was John Crow, I mean JimCrow. He likes attention and wants to appear 'worldly' but continues to prove he has been no where.

Please let us here on FN know what you find out. It shouldn't take too long. However, I have a feeling that you already knew 'That Crow' was lying.

Anonymous said...

CF, "At the same time the solution must be one of personal consciousness where the INDIVIDUAL is made to see how their dietary and exercise choices directly correlate with their health outcomes."

You forgot to mention that it also correlates to their "job outcomes." If they look like a fat mamma tank who can't fit into a regular chair, they won't get their dream job unless they are looking for a job as a soulfood cook in Louisiana.

Anonymous said...

Having problems posting...

Angie-in-Japan said...

Well, I spoke with some Japanese coworkers and was told that there is no fat tax (as far as they know). They confirmed the info I mentioned above regarding mandatory health checks and advice to lose weight if people are in danger of illness. So, JohnCrow please email me any info you may have on that fat tax you mentioned. It may come in handy if I ever start getting excess "junk" in my own trunk!! LOL...

I agree with many of you who coin this as a national problem, but I see it is an international one, as well. 'Metabo,' short for metabolic syndrome, is one of those crazy buzzwords circulating this country. In the time that I have been here, I have noticed a dramatic increase in the average weight of Japanese people. Much of that has to do with the acceptance of our diet over the traditional Japanese one...with the focus now on meat, fast food and processed foods. Kids are not exercising as much...all into those video games! And for the Japanese men, who are also starting to pack on tremendous pounds around the middle, so much of business life revolves around eating and drinking with coworkers and clients after work until the wee hours.

Some in here have mentioned the quality of food we put in our bodies, and I TOTALLY agree. Some of us take better care of our cars than ourselves. I remember begging my father to buy organic foods for him and my mom. I also asked him to get rid of the canned goods and boxed stuff and to invest more in fresh fruits, grains and vegetables. His response? "That lifestyle is too expensive!" My comment back: "Well, you can either pay for that upfront now or pay for it later when you get ill from eating all that processed JUNK"...! He preferred to pay later back then, and unfortunately he's paying for it now.

LaIncognita, in her post above, touched upon some extremely interesting and valid points regarding food: self-medication and the economics of food...but the generational and cultural eating habits hit home the most with me. In my opinion, some of us need to change the way we relate to food from a cultural viewpoint, too. I grew up in the south where many of us Black women accepted the "fact" that we were destined to be "big-boned"...and that was often the only excuse needed to justify being overweight. Not to point fingers, but it didn't help that some of you brothers openly fantasized about our "big 'ole butts" either. There is a very thin line between 'phat' and fat. LOL!!

Me? I put high quality food in my body and cheap gas in my car. And as for the perpetuation of eating-based stereotypes, I remember trying to order a simple green salad with my breakfast in the States a few years back. The server made such a fuss of it being an inconvenient request that I almost left to buy the veggies myself! When the salad finally came, I was told "Black folks don't eat that for breakfast." LOL...I soooooo wanted to ask her if I looked pink or something! Finally, went to Guam with friends last year and ordered a side of broccoli with my meal. The server brought out a whole head of broccoli. I couldn't do anything but laugh... and share it with everybody! What is up with these food portions in American restaurants and supermarkets? I'm satisfied with 10 eggs in a pack being the largest size offered here (as I only need one egg to make an omelette for myself)...though that cultural idea of a dozen eggs drove me nuts the first few years in Japan. As a nation (and maybe as a community), we often package, sell, buy and eat food in excess. Is it any wonder we are now having metabolic "issues?"

I applaud the school's dedication to combating the obesity problem and hope they are as strict with the teachers and staff. I also think there are more effective methods that could be utilized to produce the results they seek. Stay blessed...

Oh yeah, ANON@1:05...you never know! The big boss just may be all into the BIG girls!! LOL...

Christopher Chambers said...

The girls at HBCUs are fat because of a deeper problem: not enough sex, relationships (meaningful or youthful hit and quit) b/c there are few male students. Our young men are either too stupid, too unmotivated, too wrapped up in bullshit, too besieged by structural racism to got to college.
Then you have cash strapped HBCU's serving crap in the cafeterias (I live two blocks from Howard and I've seen what they serve as compared to the veggies and "green" cuisine at Georgetown) and yeah, it's a problem. Frankly let's single out the larger students. It's a captive audience. If you can't intercept them there, when a university is in loco parentis, then when? In your 20s is the time.

c.c.-kathy said...

hi Angie,the measures your are referring to in Japan is probably called "fat tax" in the United States, not in Japan. I have read about measures taken in Japan against obesity as you mentioned, but if you google "fat tax" in Japan, that is one of the articles that comes up.
Angie, I always love to read your input about Japan, it's so interesting!

krystalxlyte said...

right concern. wrong angle of action (as far as not letting the studens graduate) some of it is genetical.

Sharon from WI said...

What is up with these food portions in American restaurants and supermarkets? <<

Angie, our food portions in the United States have even affected the size of dinner plates here compared to England. Our plates are 12" in circumference while English plates are 10" in circumference.

JohnCrow said...

ANON said :

Dear Angie, I too lived in Japan and never heard of such a 'fat tax.' I spoke to my Japanese Zen Master and he said that whoever claimed that is full of shit. Considering it was John Crow, I mean JimCrow. He likes attention and wants to appear 'worldly' but continues to prove he has been no where.

Please let us here on FN know what you find out. It shouldn't take too long. However, I have a feeling that you already knew 'That Crow' was lying.


Here is info on fat tax Japan .I don't like to be called a liar by people who don't attempt to pursue knowledge.My link is from the Tax Foundation you can also read the link provided by C.C. Kathy.If that is not enough GOOGLE IT as suggested by C.C. SMH

Angie-in-Japan said...

Thank you JohnCrow and C.C-Kathy. It was interesting to read the take from a Western media perspective. I had planned to cross what you find with information from Japanese media after the weekend. I'll let you know what I find.

This may be law on paper but in short, it isn't being enforced throughout the entire country. (Still thank you both for taking the time to send this info out to me.) It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the future. Japanese companies have to pay half of their full-time workers' pension and health costs each month to begin with (and MANY companies are already looking for loopholes to avoid these payments)...so adding additional taxes for "fat" workers is not going to go over well here, in my opinion.

grinder said...

You should venture by the cream puff line at the Wisconsin State Fair in August. The rear ends of the (white) farm wives in line for a cream puff are large enough to make you faint. And I am not talking Sir Mixalot, I like me some buns, hon, big. I am talking Wide Load big.

Hey, I grew up in Milwaukee, and we were fat before fat was cool. How else can it be in a state where the four basic food groups are beer, cheese, pretzels, and sausage? I think Milwaukee had to have been the first major market for drawstring pink stretch pants.

I even had a job making those creampuffs at one Summerfest. I swear I gained 10 pounds just squirting the cream (ahem). The owner of the stand would bring his friends around and say, "Oh, more cream, more cream." Ten minutes later he'd reappear without his friend and say, "Not so much cream."

I look a two-week trip to Japan in tghe summer of '08 and came home five pounds lighter. The reason? The Japanese don't eat butter, at least if you eat their food and not the Americanized crap that's been increasingly sold to them.

Every time I saw a Japanese eating a burger, I wanted to run over and save his fucking life.

MacDaddy said...

Great post, field:

Regarding violence, let's not confine it to fat people. People need to stop ignoring and pretending. Violence is everywhere. And it's increasing. I know that the Department of Justice says that, overall, violence is reducing. I don't believe. Talk to people in low-income communities and they'll tell you that houses are being broken into in plain daylight, women are being slapped around on porches and cops take their time coming, if they come at all; people are selling drugs for real now...it's not just a date drug or entertainment drug anymore. It's a drug to medicate: to take them away from this hell-hole semi-colony called ghetto.

Field, I know you and readers who come to your blog know this, but I had to say it.

Thugs are on the prowl, and they'll kill in a minute to get what they want. Blessings.

MacDaddy said...

As for fat people, especially fat youth, the school system is the most hypocritical institution in this country. They take out soft drinks, but they also cut funding for recess or gym. Anyone who works with these kids knows that these kids are afraid to go out, once they get home. So the only place they could possible have exercise safely is school. Clearly, when they make these decisions, they are looking at white schools and white neibhborhood.

In low-income neighborhoods, where soda and potato chips pass for lunch and fear is the main concern for youth, some programs you don't cut. Funding for recess and gym is one of them.

Angie-in-Japan said...

Sharon in WI, excellent point about the size of plates. Huge drink cups that hold a gallon of juice or soda are right up there as well!!

Grinder said: "I think Milwaukee had to have been the first major market for drawstring pink stretch pants."

Thanks for that! I laughed soooooo hard I almost fell off my chair!!

"I look a two-week trip to Japan in the summer of '08 and came home five pounds lighter. The reason? The Japanese don't eat butter, at least if you eat their food and not the Americanized crap that's been increasingly sold to them."

Couldn't have said it any better, Grinder. Have you heard of the Kushi Institute and the macrobiotic diet? Interesting stuff!! By the way, do you remember those McDonald's apple pies that were sold years back in the States before they switched to the low fat ones sold now? Well, you can STILL find them here. We don't just fatten up our own, we export that crap for the world to sample.