Wellness Education

One of the ways I stay up to date on health news is to listen to podcasts while I exercise.

college studentsAccording to a recent “Your Health” podcast from National Public Radio (NPR), students at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania are upset about a school rule requiring overweight students to take an exercise course in order to graduate. This applies to students with a body mass index above 30 (the BMI classification for obese).  James DeBoy, chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Lincoln University, says the school officials believe that it’s their responsibility to alert students to the dangers of obesity.  The university believes that the measure sends an important message about battling obesity in black America.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows “blacks had 51 percent higher prevalence of obesity, and Hispanics had 21 percent higher obesity prevalence compared with whites.”  The study used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS); an ongoing, state-based, random-digit–dialed telephone survey of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 18 years and older.

While Lincoln University purports to raise awareness of obesity in the black community by requiring the obese students to take the “Fitness for Life” health and nutrition class, perhaps all students should take the class and not single out one segment of the student body.  At Broward College, I teach required Total Wellness courses.  From the information obtained in the course, students identify how to apply the information to lead healthy lives that contribute to the welfare of the community and the environment.

Student feedback shows that the information learned in my class is shared with family members, helping support a healthier lifestyle.

In order to educate students about healthy living and reinforce healthy behaviors, we need to educate all students.  For more information on obesity trends, tables, including an animated map, visit the CDC website.

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