Boy Scouts Ban Obese Scouters From Jamboree
The Boy Scouts of America have banned morbidly obese scouts from participating in this year's jamboree, after instituting a new standard by which to determine eligibility - Body Mass Index. Scouts with BMI over 40 were banned while those between 32 and 39.9 had to submit medical records for approval.
The quadrennial Boy Scout Jamboree opened Monday in the West Virginia mountains. The 10 day-wilderness gathering is said to be the most physically challenging in scout history.
"We required a level of fitness in order to come to the Jamboree that we haven't required before," Dan McCarthy, director of the BSA's Summit Group, told the Associated Press. "And that has motivated an enormous return in terms of both kids and adults getting serious about improving their health."
The Boy Scouts did not provide any information regarding the numbers of youngsters turned down using the new standards.
"Teaching Scouts and Scouters how to live a sustainable life, which includes a healthy lifestyle, and the health of our participants are important goals of the jamboree. We published our height-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," Scout spokesman Deron Smith told ABC News.
This year's event will bring together and estimated 30,000 Scouts and Venturers, 7,000 staff and adult leaders, and 50,000 visitors.