Boy Scouts BMI restrictions

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560
Boy Scouts BMI restrictions
Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

Boy Scouts: One Step Forward, Five Back

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Seems to me like the BS, in the attempt to attain this squeaky clean image by ridding themselves of gay leaders and obese kids, are tarnishing that image almost beyond repair. It's pretty sad.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

Seems like they need one event for this extreme physical challenge, but then other events that everyone can participate in, even if they still are physically demanding.

I feel like I don't have all the info.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I tried posting another article last night from ABCnews but it did not work. It said mainly the same thing.

I think a better option would have been a physical fitness test before joining the activity. I understand there would be health risks for a child doing an extreme exercise, but bmi is not the best indicator of fitness.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

They should require a note from all kids drs (a physical exam) declaring the kid able to participate.

Bmi should not factor into it.

That said- comparing overweight kids to nfl noseguards is really stupid.

My nephew is at philmont right now for jamboree- it IS very physical- horseback riding rappelling etc- but bmi alone does not show the ability to safely participate or not.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

I read this article:

Obese Boy Scouts left out of national gathering - U.S. News

From the sound of it, it is a higher intense gathering than usual and they want to ensure that those are participate are actually physically fit enough to do it. They also gave information out well ahead of time, it sounds like, of the requirements. I can see why there would be concern about medical issues for those who are on more extreme ends of the obesity scale.

The BMI was one tool used out of an entire medical screening. I think the comparison to NFL players is a poor one, as the liklihood of one of these kids having a BMI over 40 for the same reasons as an NFL football player are pretty slim. I do question the usefulness of the BMI as a whole though. I was told that I need to consult my medical provider because Aodhan's BMI is too low. Honestly, i haven't bothered to do so, he eats like a horse, is highly active and has never struggled to keep up with his peers on anything. He has his routine checkup later this year and I'll mention it and I feel pretty confident they will tell me not to worry.

I don't have a problem with medical screening for a highly physical event like this...and a screening means that some people will be excluded. To me, this comes down to a question on how effective the BMI is as a tool and if the over 40 rule is sound. I don't know enough about it really.

I do have a problem with the exclusion if its total exclusion. But really, if they have other large scale, scout events that don't require the same physical demands then I think its ok. I think it would be even more ideal if they could have activities at this event, in the same vein (focus of adventure and outdoor exercise).

ETA: Or for a shorter version, read Melissa's post Smile

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Part of their oath is to be Physically Fit.. I think I liked Cubscouts better who always promoted "do your best"

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1533

I dont think they used BMI as the sole factor for making this decision. I know the jamborees are very physically demanding and I think they are doing a little bit of covering their butts so they dont get sued if a scout gets hurt. I think requiring a physical like they do in sports would be the better way to go

My GFs son is in scouts and I do not believe he would be able to keep up with the demands of the jamboree, he is over 100 lbs at 8 years old.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4099

ITA with Lisa & Melissa. The kids should be cleared by their own doctor, who knows a lot more about them than just their BMI. I am obese but I walk up hills every day, I ride my bike on weekends, I try to swim at least once a week, and I jump into a soccer scrimmage at practice if the sides are uneven. My BP & pulse & cholesterol counts are all in the normal range. Out of curiousity I plugged my height & last-known weight (sorry, don't have a scale at work) into a BMI calculator and came up with 39.7; if I weighed two pounds more it would be over 40. Yet I'm fairly certain that I could quite easily do the things listed as being part of the Jamboree, and I'm fairly certain that my doctor would sign me off for it. She signed me off for a homebirth and I'm willing to bet that was far longer and more strenuous than any of the activities the Jamboree has planned.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Yeah, BMI isn't a good indicator for everyone. At my most athletic I was 135 pounds, and 5'7". If you saw me at 135 pounds you'd tell me to go eat something fast. At 150 people say I look thin but healthy, and at that weight I am in the normal to upper normal BMI range, funny enough. I carry lots of muscle in my legs and stomach and no matter what it's always going to be there, despite what the scale says. People who are muscular are sometimes led astray by the BMI index.

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