A Yale University student who was threatened with suspension for being too skinny says the Ivy League school has finally relented and will no longer require her to attend weigh-ins aimed at tracking her weight.
In September 2013, Frances Chan had a lump in her breast examined. While it was found to be benign, she was called into Yale Health over concerns she was underweight, the Yale Daily News reported.
At 5 foot 2 inches and weighing just 90 pounds, she tried convincing doctors that her low weight was genetic. They disagreed and forced her to begin a weight-gaining regiment or be put on medical leave from the school.
Chan’s new physician admitted Friday that Yale Health had made a mistake in forcing her to gain weight, according to the Daily News.
The decision comes after Chan’s parents met with campus officials, she wrote a letter to the university president and had an op-ed published in the Huffington Post.
In her op-ed, “Yale University Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder,” Chan detailed how she desperately tried to put on a few pounds to appease campus health officials.
“I asked my health-conscious friends what they do to remain slim and did the exact opposite,” she wrote. “In addition to loading up on carbs for each meal, I’ve eaten 3-4 scoops of ice cream twice a day with chocolate, cookies, or Cheetos at bedtime. I take elevators instead of stairs wherever possible.”
However, despite all this, Chan was only able to gain a mere two pounds. That wasn’t enough to satisfy health officials.
“I broke down sobbing in my dean’s office, in my suitemate’s arms afterwards, and Saturday morning on the phone with my parents,” she wrote. “At this rate, I was well on my way to developing an eating disorder before anyone could diagnose the currently nonexistent one.”
At the time, Chan said she had finally had enough and would refuse to comply with the university’s demands to gain weight.
“No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one,” she wrote. “If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try — in the meantime, I’ll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time.”
Yale spokesman Tom Conroy declined to comment Friday on Chan’s specific case to the New Haven Register, citing privacy rules, but said, “Yale has a strong system of mental health care for students.”
(H/T: New York Daily News)
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