The Oberlin Review

Bryn Mawr Debacle Highlights Weight-Centric Approach to “Health”

Editorial Board

February 6, 2015

Trigger Warning: This editorial contains discussion of eating disorders and body image.  A troubling Health Center email sent to students with “elevated” BMIs, encouraging them to “Give a HOOT” about their body size, generated protests and unfavorable press at Bryn Mawr College in late January. “We want YOU to be in the Fitness OWLS (Onward to Weight Loss Success) Program,” read the message, noting that the program was a partnership between the Bryn Mawr health center and the school’s athletic department and dining services. Health Center Director Kay C. Kerr issued a written apology for the message last Saturday, but not before the incident drew renewed attention to discussions of health and wellne...

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