Thin Yale student: Why she ate ice cream twice daily
Thin Yale student: Yale officials told Frances Chan she had to put on weight or she would be suspended for being too thin. The Yale student now has a doctor backing up her assertion that she's naturally thin, and no longer has to eat ice cream twice a day.
New Haven, Conn. — A Yale student says the school has dropped its months-long demand that she gain weight or leave the university.
Twenty-year-old history major Frances Chan told the New Haven Register that her new Yale physician told her on Friday that university officials made a mistake and no longer believe she has an eating disorder. She had been stuffing her face with ice cream and other snacks to try to gain weight.
Chan is 5-feet-2-inches tall and 92 pounds. She says she's always been very thin but healthy.
The Register reported that since December, Yale had been telling Chan she might be forced to leave school if she didn’t put on some pounds. She had mandatory weekly weigh ins.
“It felt really bad to be this powerless,” Chan said, taking in some afternoon sun in a campus courtyard. “I ate ice cream twice a day. I ate cookies. I used elevators instead of walking up stairs. But I don’t really gain any weight.”
She says Yale Health officials had placed too much emphasis on body-mass index as a health indicator, but her new doctor acknowledged that BMI isn't the only significant factor.
Yale spokesman Tom Conroy says the university cannot comment because of medical privacy regulations.
USAToday reports that The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 25 percent of college students have eating disorders. The same percent of college women report managing weight by binging and purging, says the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.