Colleges have a major concern about the health of their students, so schools and institutions offer weight loss programs and facilities as well. However, students at Bryn Mawr College find an email for students with “elevated BMIs”, to be a shameful weight loss invitation (Wood 2015).
According to Philly.com, 100 emails were sent out as an invitation to participate in a free, individualized fitness program. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with this as it provides an option for students to lose weight. “There were truly good intentions behind this,” said Bryn Mawr spokesman Matt Gray. “It’s a program that includes individual counseling, nutritional advice, and group support.”
Gray mentioned that twelve students had already gone through with the program since its launch in October and no one complained. Unfortunately, the invitations got into the wrong hands and a student felt offended. Rudrani Sarma, pre-law junior who is not obese, received one of those emails and made negative posts on Facebook that went viral.
She received an apology from the health center and was told her name was incorrectly included by a nurse. Buzzfeed, a popular viral news website, picked up the story and Sarma was reached by phone. She said “Body policing and fat shaming are both involved here, and it’s important to have a discussion about how we want to talk about our bodies.” I agree that discussing our bodies may be confidential but when an institution is targeting a group to help them, then those actions may be justified.
George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University who has studied behavioral economics and obesity, said the targeted email was “probably a mistake.”
Gray said the health center is rethinking how it will invite students to participate in the future (Wood 2015). I encourage all colleges, schools and institutions to continue to help students with weight loss and improve our health but just try to make invitations less offensive. Fat loss in college is not easy and being a student myself, I can share a few tips on how to lose fat in college. First, I avoid eating out to fast food restaurants because they are expensive and the food doesn’t offer any nutritional value. I plan my meals out, then I cook at least 3 to 4 times per week. Next, I love running and boxing, so I find myself jogging 3 times per week and going to the gym to hit the bags for an hour as well. My last tip is to think positive about weight loss and find a partner to help you stay motivated. I understand college gets stressful at times but it is also very important to focus on weight management to live a longer, healthier life.
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer
Source: Wood, S. “E-mail stirs ‘fat shaming’ controversy at Bryn Mawr College” 30 January 2015 Philly.com