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Lifestyles, Woodsworth

Extra Points for Slimness?


Noofa Hannan, Howl Staff

A popular nutritionist, Pierre Dukan, has suggested that France tackle child obesity by awarding extra marks on exams to children with ideal body weights. Dukan made the proposal in a 250-page book titled An Open Letter to the Future French President, copies of which he has sent out to the 16 candidates for France’s presidential election.

According to Dukan, the plan would allow high school students to take an “ideal weight” option in their final year’s exams. They will earn extra marks if their body mass index (BMI) is between 18 and 25. Furthermore, double marks would be awarded as an incentive to those overweight at the beginning of the two year course if they manage to slim down.

The BMI is a scale that measures body fat in proportion to height. The World Health Organization defines a BMI of 18.5 to 25 as normal, 25 to 30 as overweight, and over 30 as obese.

Dukan’s book also contains 119 other suggestions for the future presidents to address France’s growing problem of obesity.

“There’s a real problem. Since the 1960s the number of overweight people in France has risen from 500,000 to 22-million and it’s going up every year,” Dukan said. “When you reach those levels, it’s no longer a health problem, it becomes a political problem, and the leaders of the nation need to worry about it.”

Dukan previously attracted attention for his controversial high-protein meal diet. While the diet proved to be popular with celebrities, health experts and weight watchers have criticized it for being unhealthy.

I find Dukan’s proposal too ambitious and, well, a little ridiculous to put it nicely. I can’t quite make out if he is doing this to garner publicity or if he truly hopes for a healthier France. Either way, he definitely deserves some credit for his creativity.

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