A college recently removed the weight scale from its gym because it might be “triggering” for students who are worried about their weight.
The manager of health and wellness at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, says having a weight scale in the gym can have a negative impact on students who are “fixated on weight.”
“It takes weeks, even months, to make a permanent change in your weight,” he wrote in an email to the campus newspaper. “So why obsess about it? Why not look at other indicators?”
Presumably, those other indicators might be diabetes and heart failure — fates far worse than being ‘fat-shamed’ by your own weight. This seems reflective of a culture protecting sensitive feelings over health.
A sign that was put up where the scale used to stand tells students the decision to remove the scale was “in keeping with current fitness and social trends.”
Some students at Carleton expressed their dismay at the school’s decision.
“We shouldn’t remove something because some people abuse it,” sophomore Marko Miljusevic wrote in a Facebook post. “If they can’t handle the number that shows up on the scale then don’t step on it.”
Miljusevic said the students who are being triggered by seeing their weight on a scale will be triggered by their self-image regardless of whether or not a scale is present.
Samar El Faki, a freshman in the school’s enriched support system, said she thinks students who want the scale to remain in the gym are being “insensitive.”
“Scales are very triggering,” she said. “I think people are being insensitive because they simply don’t understand. They think eating disorders are a choice when they are actually a serious illness.”