College Threatens to Fail Students for Obesity

Twenty-five seniors must prove they've lost weight to graduate
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2009 11:25 AM CST
Lincoln University in Oxford, Pa., requires obese freshmen to take a nutrition class before graduating.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Twenty-five seniors at a university in Pennsylvania must prove they've lost weight in order to graduate this spring. The unusual requirement stems from a policy Lincoln University put in place fours ago: Incoming freshmen with a body mass index of 30, the threshold for obesity, must take a nutrition class or shed the weight on their own to get a diploma, reports the Lincolnian student newspaper.

Most of the 92 students at the black university who had BMIs over 30 took the class, but the 25 who didn't were notified they'd have to undergo a physical exam before graduating. “No student should ever be able to leave Lincoln and not know the risks of obesity,” a school official tells Inside Higher Ed. Says one angry student: "I came here to get a degree and that's what the administration should be concerned with."