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Overweight Boy Scouts barred from national Jamboree by new BMI requirement
Cleveland Plain Dealer ^ | July 16, 2013 | Natalie Villacorta

Posted on 07/16/2013 5:58:44 AM PDT by Deadeye Division

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Boy Scouts at this year’s national Jamboree were kayaking, rock climbing, zip-lining and bike riding in 90-degree heat Monday. And for the first time, scouts and their leaders had to meet new health requirements: No one with a body mass index of 40 or higher was eligible to attend. A 16-year-old boy who is 5 feet 9 inches and weighs 150 pounds would have a healthy BMI of about 22.

The rugged terrain at Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia, where the Jamboree is taking place for the first time, warrants these new requirements, local Scouts and Scoutmasters at the Jamboree said. Overweight boys would have a tough time getting around and probably wouldn’t have much fun.

“It’s constant up and down elevation changes,” said Ron Blazak, one of 18 adult leaders attending this year’s Jamboree from the Boy Scouts of America Greater Cleveland Council, which sent four troops consisting of 150 scouts. “It’s much more strenuous.”

Blazak attended the last Jamboree in 2010 at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., which he said was a much flatter setting. Even getting to his campsite was more effort this year, he said, as their bus dropped them off about a half-mile away and they had to carry their heavy packs. There are 30,000 scouts, ages 12 to 20, and their leaders, participating in the 10-day event.

To his knowledge, “there was no one in the Greater Cleveland Council who was turned away because of a BMI issue,” Blazak said. Though he said it was possible “that someone read the requirements and shied away” from applying, as the Jamboree website stressed that the health requirements would be strictly enforced.

Applicants with BMIs of over 31.9 were reviewed by the Jamboree’s medical staff, which determined eligibility based on health history, health data and a recommendation from the applicant’s health care provider. Applicants with one or more risk factors, including prior heart attacks, tobacco use, or diabetes, were required in some cases to provide documentation of testing from their physician to ensure their ability to participate.

Though a recommendation of “no contraindications for participation” by an applicant’s health care provider did not necessarily guarantee full Jamboree participation, according to the Jamboree Website.

“We published our height [and] weight requirements years in advance and many individuals began a health regimen to lose weight and attend the Jamboree. But, for those who couldn’t, most self-selected and chose not to apply. We don’t have the number of Scouts and Scouters this has impacted,” Deron Smith, director of public relations for the Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement.

Carl Boyls, director of support services for the Greater Cleveland Council, said that the requirements were “not something new for the scouting family to get used to,” as BSA’s three other high adventure camps have had physical fitness requirements for years. Boyls said that most scouts apply two years in advance to attend a Jamboree, during which time they can train and carry out recommendations from their health care providers.

“You can do this, this and this to either lower your BMI or to get into shape or to take care of the condition if it’s not a severe medical condition,” he said. Most scouts have to train he said, as attending a Jamboree or high adventure camp is more rigorous than weekend trips.

Bradley Katcher, 14, of Avon, said within the first four hours of being at the Jamboree Monday, his troop sent a boy to the medical tent due to dehydration and overexertion. “I have a 45-minute walk from my camp back to the main center area,” he said. “For a Scout that’s overweight to obese, that could pose a health risk or a health hazard for them.

“There are Scouts in our council who, if they looked into specific requirements, would have had to lose some weight before coming to Jamboree,” Katcher said. Though these scouts, to his knowledge, had no interest in attending.

Scout Joe Stein, 17, of Sagamore Hills, runs track and cross country. He said he was struggling on the climb up to the shooting range Monday. He said following the BMI requirement is important because problems do arise.

“At Fort A.P. Hill, you might have been able to get away with it,” he said, referring to being overweight and unfit. “Here you have to walk to get everywhere.”

David Mack, 13, from Shaker Heights, said he thought the requirement made sense. “It just wouldn’t be a good experience,” he said. “It wouldn’t be fun.”

Mack went zip-lining Monday, which he said required hiking up a mountain. Monday night, he said, he ate corn-on-the-cob and barbecue chicken for dinner and a little Rice Krispies treat for dessert.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: nvillacorta@plaind.com, 216-999-4098. Twitter: @nvillaco


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: bsa; jamboree; obesity; summercamp

1 posted on 07/16/2013 5:58:44 AM PDT by Deadeye Division
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To: Deadeye Division

He should just say he’s gay.


2 posted on 07/16/2013 5:59:27 AM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: Deadeye Division

Apparently the “New” scouts aren’t into plumpers. Lucky kids.


3 posted on 07/16/2013 6:01:01 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

Well there is that “To Keep Myself Physically Strong” thing.


4 posted on 07/16/2013 6:02:00 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Deadeye Division
"they had to carry their heavy packs"

What? No Whambulances?


5 posted on 07/16/2013 6:03:04 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Deadeye Division

Appears to be discrimination to me. Fat Folks unite with a lawsuit.


6 posted on 07/16/2013 6:07:46 AM PDT by dforest (I have now entered the Twilight Zone.)
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To: Deadeye Division
Obese by BMI standards:(not the white kid :) )
7 posted on 07/16/2013 6:09:51 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: Deadeye Division

Just realized it was 40+ BMI. I take back my previous post.


8 posted on 07/16/2013 6:10:37 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: dfwgator

“Well there is that “To Keep Myself Physically Strong” thing.”

I new a kid with a BMI way above 40. He was so lean he couldn’t swim — he sank like a rock. Heavy bones, lots of muscle, zero fat.

The real issue here is that the gay scout leaders like them skinny.


9 posted on 07/16/2013 6:10:45 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: dfwgator

“Well there is that “To Keep Myself Physically Strong” thing.”

I new a kid with a BMI way above 40. He was so lean he couldn’t swim — he sank like a rock. Heavy bones, lots of muscle, zero fat.

The real issue here is that the gay scout leaders like them skinny.


10 posted on 07/16/2013 6:12:14 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: dfwgator
Well there is that “To Keep Myself Physically Strong” thing.

Yeah, so instead of bringing them to the Jamboree to get outdoors, get some exercise and fresh air, let's just tell them to stay home. Good logic. They decide not to uphold the morally straight ethic, but they hold firm on the physically fit. Guess the poofters don't like 'em chubby.

11 posted on 07/16/2013 6:21:58 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS
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To: Deadeye Division

Isn’t obesity a protected class now?

I see another discrimination lawsuit on the horizon...


12 posted on 07/16/2013 6:21:58 AM PDT by moovova
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To: moovova
What about homosexual obese Boy Scouts? Or even better, what about transgender obese Boy Scouts?

Will the madness ever end?

Oh, the tangled webs we weave when we try to be politically correct.

13 posted on 07/16/2013 6:23:53 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: Deadeye Division
Top 10 Reasons Why The BMI Is Bogus

1. The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual.

The BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources. In other words, it is a 200-year-old hack.

2. It is scientifically nonsensical.

There is no physiological reason to square a person's height (Quetelet had to square the height to get a formula that matched the overall data. If you can't fix the data, rig the formula!). Moreover, it ignores waist size, which is a clear indicator of obesity level.

3. It is physiologically wrong.

It makes no allowance for the relative proportions of bone, muscle and fat in the body. But bone is denser than muscle and twice as dense as fat, so a person with strong bones, good muscle tone and low fat will have a high BMI. Thus, athletes and fit, health-conscious movie stars who work out a lot tend to find themselves classified as overweight or even obese.

4. It gets the logic wrong.

The CDC says on its Web site that "the BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness for people." This is a fundamental error of logic. For example, if I tell you my birthday present is a bicycle, you can conclude that my present has wheels. That's correct logic. But it does not work the other way round. If I tell you my birthday present has wheels, you cannot conclude I got a bicycle. I could have received a car. Because of how Quetelet came up with it, if a person is fat or obese, he or she will have a high BMI. But as with my birthday present, it doesn't work the other way round. A high BMI does not mean an individual is even overweight, let alone obese. It could mean the person is fit and healthy, with very little fat.

5. It's bad statistics.

Because the majority of people today (and in Quetelet's time) lead fairly sedentary lives and are not particularly active, the formula tacitly assumes low muscle mass and high relative fat content. It applies moderately well when applied to such people because it was formulated by focusing on them. But it gives exactly the wrong answer for a large and significant section of the population, namely the lean, fit and healthy. Quetelet is also the person who came up with the idea of "the average man." That's a useful concept, but if you try to apply it to any one person, you come up with the absurdity of a person with 2.4 children. Averages measure entire populations and often don't apply to individuals.

6. It is lying by scientific authority.

Because the BMI is a single number between 1 and 100 (like a percentage) that comes from a mathematical formula, it carries an air of scientific authority. But it is mathematical snake oil.

7. It suggests there are distinct categories of underweight, ideal, overweight and obese, with sharp boundaries that hinge on a decimal place.

That's total nonsense.

8. It makes the more cynical members of society suspect that the medical insurance industry lobbies for the continued use of the BMI to keep their profits high.

Insurance companies sometimes charge higher premiums for people with a high BMI. Among such people are all those fit individuals with good bone and muscle and little fat, who will live long, healthy lives during which they will have to pay those greater premiums.

9. Continued reliance on the BMI means doctors don't feel the need to use one of the more scientifically sound methods that are available to measure obesity levels.

Those alternatives cost a little bit more, but they give far more reliable results.

10. It embarrasses the U.S. It is embarrassing for one of the most scientifically, technologically and medicinally advanced nations in the world to base advice on how to prevent one of the leading causes of poor health and premature death (obesity) on a 200-year-old numerical hack developed by a mathematician who was not even an expert in what little was known about the human body back then.

14 posted on 07/16/2013 6:27:41 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: SamAdams76

The Boy Scouts left behind could always temporarily “identify” as a female...and attend the Girl Scout Jamboree (or whatever is comparable).


15 posted on 07/16/2013 6:27:57 AM PDT by moovova
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To: Deadeye Division

That’s right, Obama threw the Scouts out of A.P. Hill, didn’t he!


16 posted on 07/16/2013 6:28:41 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: Deadeye Division

Now that the gays have gotten their way they want to discriminate against everybody else.


17 posted on 07/16/2013 6:30:59 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: Irenic

Won’t help. Gays want thin attractive boys. Who did you think was behind this change?


18 posted on 07/16/2013 6:31:19 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Deadeye Division
I guess this rule of Scouting is out


19 posted on 07/16/2013 6:33:52 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: cripplecreek

Well duh, they’ve got to be thin so they look fabulous for their new pink uniforms...(add lisp)...


20 posted on 07/16/2013 6:39:48 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Born to Conserve

A BMI of 40 puts someone 5’9” tall at 270 pounds.


21 posted on 07/16/2013 6:41:44 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Deadeye Division

So we cavemen go through all the trouble of inventing camping, cooking food over an open fire, and now you call this progress? What do you think, Fred?


22 posted on 07/16/2013 6:46:47 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Deadeye Division

Fatty boys - Get out of the tent.

Homo boys - Get in the tent.


23 posted on 07/16/2013 6:50:48 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.)
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To: Born to Conserve; Chode

“The real issue here is that the gay scout leaders like them skinny

Ding ding ding WE HAVE A WINNER!!!


24 posted on 07/16/2013 6:53:23 AM PDT by Morgana (Always a bit of truth in dark humor.)
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To: Deadeye Division

But if the boy claims to fancy other boys he gets in as the honor scout.


25 posted on 07/16/2013 6:53:34 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: Deadeye Division

Homosexual adult leaders don’t like fat boys.


26 posted on 07/16/2013 6:54:44 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: Deadeye Division

Butt sex fits the Boy Scouts new “healthy sustainable” life standards to attend the crambor...er, jamboree.

Being a little chubby does nor fit the guidelines.

Boy Scouts have become a joke.


27 posted on 07/16/2013 6:57:42 AM PDT by dforest (I have now entered the Twilight Zone.)
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To: Deadeye Division

If you’re fat, it’s a big no. If you stick your d*ck in other boys’ asses, come on in!


28 posted on 07/16/2013 7:10:42 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Deadeye Division
I guess the newly declared subsidiary of NAMBLA likes ‘em on the *lean* side...wink,wink...grin,grin!
29 posted on 07/16/2013 7:15:39 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (The Civil Servants Are No Longer Servants...Or Civil.)
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To: Deadeye Division

I wonder if the Boy Scouts might have recently developed a secret “handshake”.Inquiring minds want to know.


30 posted on 07/16/2013 7:17:01 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (The Civil Servants Are No Longer Servants...Or Civil.)
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To: moovova

I could see ‘reasonable accommodations’ being required, even if it means piggyback rides on some Sherpa’s back.


31 posted on 07/16/2013 7:27:19 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: vbmoneyspender

Yep. My niece is 5’ 1” and strong as an ox. Her BMI looks terrible. To apply for the military academies, she had to get another test that accurately measures body fat, in order to show that she was well-muscled, not fat. (They did accept the alternative test.)


32 posted on 07/16/2013 8:07:23 AM PDT by married21
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To: dfwgator

What about morally straight? Or doing ones duty to God?


33 posted on 07/16/2013 8:10:29 AM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Born to Conserve

That would mean a 5 foot kid > 225 pounds.
Must have been a real specimen....


34 posted on 07/16/2013 8:12:52 AM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: Deadeye Division

Local Scout leaders should be working together with parents of Scouts who have a weight problem to help them lose a few pounds before time for the Jamboree, instead of playing along all year and then having to exclude them because of the Jamboree standards.


35 posted on 07/16/2013 9:57:04 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: vbmoneyspender

That’s a great rebuttal to the BMI myth.

Henceforth, I will not permit my doctor to do a BMI measurment. It’s unscientific.


36 posted on 07/16/2013 10:03:56 AM PDT by miserare (Fire Eric Holder!)
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To: 9YearLurker

“A BMI of 40 puts someone 5’9” tall at 270 pounds.”

Your point? Does that contradict something I said? This kid could have run you down, kicked your butt, and made your girl very happy. My point is that BMI has nothing to do with health.


37 posted on 07/16/2013 11:50:24 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: vbmoneyspender

Bump


38 posted on 07/16/2013 4:50:42 PM PDT by Deadeye Division
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