Broward News

Boy Scouts Not Allowing Obese Kids to Take Part in National Jamboree

The Boy Scouts of America is currently holding its 2013 National Jamboree, where scouts from all over the country converge in West Virginia to whitewater raft, climb mountains, zip lines, mountain bike, and participate in other Boy Scouty things.

But, apparently the scouts' body mass index criteria to take part in the jamboree excludes scouts with a BMI of 40 or higher.

So, basically, no fat kids.

But the the Obesity Action Coalition (or OAC) is calling on the BSA to change that.

OAC thinks that the last thing the Boy Scouts should be doing is excluding overweight boys from participating in activities that would, you know, help them not be overweight anymore.

"The BMI requirement is limiting physical activity to those needing it most and goes against the BSA's own core value of 'developing personal fitness,'" said Joe Nadglowski, OAC president and CEO.

"The opportunity to participate in the jamboree and increase one's physical fitness should not be limited to a certain population of scouts."

Ah, but the scouts have excelled at limiting certain members of society from participating in their activities. That's just how they roll.

And, as it is with all discrimination involving kids, this one has potential for long-term negative affects.

According to OAC, boys who are obese are constantly teased and bullied, and they often stop engaging in physical activity because they are discouraged or embarrassed.

Well, stop feeding your kids junk and get them more active, one internet troll will inevitably say in the comments section.

Very true, internet troll. So, allowing obese boys to participate in the annual jamboree would include getting them more active.

And it would be with their fellow scouts, which means it would be fun, which means it would open doors to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Today, one in three children is obese in the United States.

The Boy Scouts of America can help change that.

But for now, the Scouts are apparently still just about wearing shorts and handkerchiefs and building fires in the woods while excluding people who need them the most.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph