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Yale University allegedly threatened to put one of their students on leave for her weight, citing concerns for her low weight.
Frances Chan is a 20-year-old History major at Yale University. At 5’2" Chan weighed 90 pounds, a healthy weight for her, however, Yale University doctors disagreed.
According to the New Haven Register, when Chan found a breast lump in December, she went the clinician on campus, fearing the mass be cancerous. She was given a clean bill of health in terms of the lump, which was benign, but she began receiving notices about the Ivy League’s ‘concern’ for her health.
Chan was threatened by medical staff at her university. She was told to gain weight and attend counseling sessions or there would be consequences.
According to The Daily Mail, Chan initially complied with the school’s request. She attended the meeting that the school ordered her to and tried her best to gain weight. She ate copious amounts of junk food and asked her health conscious friends what they did to lose weight and did the opposite.
Eventually, Chan managed to gain two pounds, pushing her to a weight of 92 pounds, but the university demanded she gain three more pounds.
Medical professionals within the school told Chan she was at risk of losing her life for being so thin.
She was so outraged by her treatment, that she penned an article for The Huffington Post in March.
“It subjects students who have a personal and family history of low weight to treatment that harms our mental health,” Chan wrote in her essay.
Chan eventually got her parents involved and had them fax Yale University her medical charts to show that she has always been thin and help reassert that she does not have an eating disorder.
Chan claimed Yale used the BMI, the Body Mass Index, to determine a student’s healthy weight, but the BMI does not take into account individual needs. The Body Mass Index scale measures a person’s height and weight and determines if an individual is underweight, overweight or 'healthy.'
Yale University and their medical staff, however, admitted their mistake and agreed to stop forcing Chan to attended meetings and treatments. They are now publicly stating that they realize there are other ways to determine if a student is healthy.