Should students get graded...on their WEIGHT?
By Laura Hogg More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the FitChatter Blog Series
Welcome back to FitChatter! In today's news - a controversial recommendation from French diet guru Pierre Dukan: should students get extra marks for maintaining a healthy BMI?
French diet guru Pierre Dukan thinks he has the solution to France's child obesity issues.
His plan? Reward slim students with extra marks.
Under this plan, students would be allowed to take an "ideal weight" option in their last two years of high school that would reward them for maintaining a "healthy" BMI (between 18 and 25). Overweight students would get double the points if they were able to slim down over the course of two years. Dukan - whose popular super-high-protein "Dukan diet" was named the worst of 2011, lest we forget - calls it a "fantastic motivator."
Admittedly, specific details about his program are scarce, but regardless, certain facts remain. For one thing, BMI - while it can be useful in some cases - is not an accurate representation of a person's physical fitness. Case in point: in the prime of his career, Arnold Schwarzenegger had a BMI of 33, putting him firmly in the "obese" category. Whether or not bodybuilding is your thing, you've got to admit, that's kind of weird.
Dukan's plan also doesn't allow for people who are naturally slim... and eat horribly. I know a girl who is thin as a rail, eats more than anyone I know, and tries desperately to gain weight. I doubt she's gained a single ounce in all the time I've known her. She'd get an A on this plan without lifting a finger. Yet there are people who try for years and years and, for various reasons, can't shed the pounds.
Dukan insists that this plan is not intended as a punishment for overweight teens. "There is nothing wrong with educating children about nutrition," he says. "This will not change anything for those who do not need to lose weight. For the others, it will motivate them."
Okay, Pierre. I'm with you that people (especially teens) need to be more educated about nutrition. I remember getting some vague lessons about it at some point in my academic career, but it was definitely inadequate. But that doesn't mean that we should punish overweight kids further. I give this plan a big "F."
What do you think? Is Dukan out of line? How would you change his plan - or would you scrap it completely?