April 7th, 2014 | University

Student speaks out about Yale Health experience

A Yale University junior said that after an almost half-year battle with Yale Health over her body mass index (BMI), the University has admitted that BMI is not the only indicator of a healthy weight, and is no longer requiring her to attend weekly weigh-ins at Yale Health according to the New Haven Register.

Frances Chan ’15, said she visited Smilow Cancer Hospital in September 2013, worried about a lump in her breast. While the lump was determined to be benign, she was called into Yale Health over doctors’ concerns about her weight. Chan is 5’2″ and 90 lbs., making her BMI 16.5. A BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight.

Chan said that she tried to convey to physicians that her low weight is genetic, and she has always had a low BMI. Instead of listening, the clinician told her she would have to be put on medical leave if she did not comply with weekly weigh-ins, she added.

This past Friday, a little less than a month after she published an op-ed in the Huffington Post, “Yale University Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder,” after her parents met with health officials on campus, and after she wrote a letter to President Peter Salovey, her new physician admitted that Yale Health had make a mistake. Chan will continue to attend weigh-ins, but only once a semester.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 25 percent of college students struggle from an eating disorder.