Boy Scouts of America ban big boys!
Boy Scouts of America bans scouts from their national Jamboree whose BMI exceeds 40, claiming they are unfit to participate. This discriminatory practice only furthers the stigma against boys of larger body size.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2013
Foster City, CA - Of the 30,000 Boy Scouts of America (BSA) gathering for their 10 day national Jamboree starting Monday in West Virginia, not one will be above a BMI of 40 because fat boys aren't allowed! Jamboree applicants with a BMI of 40 or higher were deemed ineligible. Those who fell between 32 and 39.9 faced providing additional health information to Jamboree medical staff.
NAAFA believes that this decision promotes bias and negative attitudes and furthers the discrimination against boys of larger body size. The stigmatization of fat children has increased by 40% over the last 30 years. Fat children face bullying and teasing about their body size on a daily basis.
BMI was explicitly cited by Ancel Keys, an American scientist who studied the influence of diet on health, as being appropriate for population studies, and INAPPROPRIATE for individual diagnosis. Nevertheless, due to its simplicity, it came to be widely used for individual diagnosis, despite its inappropriateness. BMI is not a good predictor of individual health and does not take muscle mass into consideration.
Sadly, this is not a new situation for the BSA. One mother reported to NAAFA in 2009 that her son was having issues attending Philmont High Adventure Boy Scout Camp in Cimmaron, NM. "Philmont has a weight standard and anyone over this standard is labeled unhealthy and cannot participate. I tried to explain to them that my son plays football, wrestles and runs relays, shot put, discus thrower, in track & field and a weight lifter. During the summer he swims, weightlifts and conditions for football. He has been conditioning for Philmont by hiking for 2-3 hours with a 50 pound pack on his back for the last 2 months. He weighs 261 lbs. and has been eating a 1200 - 1400 calorie diet trying to lose weight. Unfortunately he only lost 3 pounds... According to Philmont medical staff if he doesn't weigh below 246, he will be sent home. It didn't matter to them if he is active, only his weight number. I have watched my son condition for football and he can run circles around other players that are what society deems healthy."
NAAFA demands that the Boy Scouts of America reconsider their discriminatory practices and admit camp attendees NOT based on their physical fitness, NOT based on their body size, but based on their active status as a boy scout. Weight does not equal health. Hate is not good for young men's health.
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.
On the web: http://www.naafa.org
For more information contact:
Peggy Howell, Public Relations Director
National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA)