Lincoln University, the historically black college in Pennsylvania, won't let overweight students graduate unless they take a fitness course. I have officially heard it all. I would understand if the college encouraged overweight students to take the course, or offer the course as an elective, but mandatory? Come on. Diabetes and obesity is certainly an issue in the heart of America among black and white folks, but this is taking health concern to a level of dictatorship. James L. DeBoy, Lincoln University's chairman of health and physical education department, says:
“We know we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic. We have an obligation to address this head on, knowing full well there’s going to be some fallout.”
Fallout? How about revolt? Apparently, the average body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. Lincoln University insists any student with a BMI of 30 or higher take the course. The real issue is a nation that promotes the casual consumption of white flour, white sugar, desserts, excess red meats, breads, cheese, soda, etc. Change what and how we eat, then maybe obesity and diabetes will decrease. I'm no medical expert, but as an observer and critic of American life that seems like an obvious solution. So … is it right for Lincoln University to force overweight students to take a fitness course to graduate?
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.