Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I've had some time to digest the BSA's decision to require a "healthy" BMI and I've come to the conclusion that there are more questions than answers for me.

Questions I have:

BMI - BMI is very complicated sure there is the simple BMI calculator that you can google but when I go to see my bariatric surgeon there is a much more elaborate BMI there that is worked out than I ever get on the calucluator. My online one is always higher than my doctor's version.

1. What BMI are the using? Are those that are deciding whether a scout can go or no equipped with this detailed knowledge? What are their protocols?


Reasoning behind it - Is the reason to limit scouts going for the safety of the scouts or is it to make a more picture perfect image of the scouts? After the last huge hit on gay rights and the scouts you would think the BSA would stay low, that must not be the case.

2. I really would like to know the organization's reason why: is it for true safety? and if it is why hasn't this been enacted before now? Were there lawsuits, did someone get hurt etc?

Discrimination - weight bias and discrimination is HUGE today and it is rising right alongside the obesity rate in America; how did the BSA present the info of "you are not going" to the young males in the group? How was it articulated? How were parents informed?

3. If these scouts can't go to the jamboree due to their BMI: is there a program in place to assist these boys to be healthier? is there a system to use this as a development educationally rather than a shunning?

Target - was it the young boys or the whole organization

4. Who, why, and how was this decision made?

Note the BSA National Commissioner is on the right cleary not at an ideal BMI
So I did a little research and though I haven't read everything and haven't had every question answered from above I found some articles that enlightened me that I want to share.

Leaders and Boy Scouts were both targeted

“We certainly want to get the Scouts outdoors, challenge them and have a healthy lifestyle,” said Gary Hartley, the Summit’s director of community and governmental relations. “We talk about the three C’s as kind of the pillars, and that is cardio, character and citizenship. We have all of those embodied here.”  According the article above.

 Is their decision mis-guided?,0,1978703.story

“So they’ve stopped discriminating against gay people and started discriminating against fat people. What a mess,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UC San Francisco and president of the nonprofit Institute for Responsible Nutrition. “If they’re all about improving Scouts’ health, that’s not going to help those who need it most." [ I found this powerful ]

[ This blew me out of the water ]
The Boy Scouts of America might elude charges of discrimination if they decided to require every Scout wishing to attend the Jamboree to undergo metabolic testing or a test of their physical fitness, Lustig said.
“But to exclude them on basis of BMI alone is not only medically nonsensical; it’s very bad PR,” he said.
Psychotherapist Eliza Kingsford said that in addition to stigmatizing Scouts who are very overweight, the policy of excluding them misses an opportunity to encourage those who are working their way toward fitness.
“It’s irresponsible to say that your weight is putting you at high risk, but not to offer some alternative activity that specifically addresses the physical limitations,” said Kingsford, who is clinical director of Wellspring, which runs camps, schools and programs aimed at promoting weight loss.

So what do you think? Discrimination? Guided decision? Is it legal? Or should we call it like we see it - WEIGHT DISCRIMINATION.


No comments:

Post a Comment