Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Blame it on the Twinkies, Blame it on the Ho Ho’s, Blame it on the Obeeeeeeesity!!!
I witnessed a double standard with black folks this week. Apparently we are up in arms when Morehouse College implements a dress code for their students. But when Lincoln University told students they couldn’t graduate if they were overweight, all I heard was crickets. It seems when men are asked not to wear purses and high heels it’s an issue. But when they are told they’re too fat, it’s not even worthy of a debate. Is this because we live in a society where fat people are treated as second class citizens? Gay men might not be able to marry but they have supporters for their right to wear Stuart Weitzman handbags. But it’s too bad if you look like one of the “Klumps.” The cheering section you’re expecting is going to be empty.
Lincoln implemented a mandatory program called “Fitness for Life.” Lincoln decided to be pro active in helping a demographic (i.e. black folks) that tips the scale. Overweight students will have to take a physical education class (3 times a week) before they can graduate. It’s no surprise that black folks are struggling in the weight department. Whether it’s the lie told around the world “oh they’re just big boned”, or the lack of healthy food options in low economic neighborhoods. Blacks suffer from hypertension and diabetes in higher numbers compared to other races. But it’s not up to a college or university to correct these problems. This is where individual responsibility comes into play. If you eat bacon and sausage everyday for breakfast, then you’re asking for trouble. You have to learn to eat certain foods in moderation. Or you might have to give them up.
I know you are probably saying “What about the drugs in our livestock??” I know they are putting antibiotics in our chickens and cows. With chicken breasts the size of medium pizzas, I know something is up. It’s also the reason middle school girls look like college freshmen. Or why a 5th grade kid looks like he could be an offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers. But that can’t be used as an excuse for looking like mini Jabba the Hut. You shouldn’t have to catch your breath walking up two flights of steps. And your car shouldn’t lean to one side. These are signs that it’s time to shed some pounds. Let’s hope that Lincoln can work this out so the kids can graduate. I think they can implement this program in a way that’s fair. Just extend your regular PE program for 1 semester every year. This will make “Fitness for Life” part of their regular curriculum. That’s a win-win situation that everyone can live with.