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Yale threatens to suspend student who is too skinny


The pressures of college life are bad enough without being told you might be kicked out of school for being too thin.

But that's exactly what happened to Yale University student Frances Chan, who was forced to attend weekly weigh-ins and doctor visits after a school health center physician concluded she had an eating disorder.

'I just don't gain weight easily,' student says

In a March essay featured in the Huffington Post, Chan explained the weekly check-up appointments were not optional – and that the clinician threatened to put Chan on medical leave if she didn't comply.

"I’ve always been small,” she wrote. “I’ve been 5’2” and 90 pounds since high school, but it has never led to any illnesses related to low weight or malnutrition."

The clinician told Chan she had to gain at least two pounds, making the student undergo blood tests, urine tests, and appointments with a mental health counselor and nutritionist.

'We made a mistake,' Yale says

"Yale provides exceptional health care services, and the health and welfare of all of our students is our primary concern,” Yale spokesman Tom Conroy told Yahoo.

But did the school take Chan's case too far?

Months went on, during which Chan's mother even contacted the school and explained how her daughter had always been thin, and, finally, Yale officials backed down.

"Just visited Yale Health with my parents and met with a new doctor,” Chan recently posted on her Facebook page. “She apologized repeatedly for the ‘months of anguish’ I went through and admitted that BMI is not the end all be all. She also looked at my medical records since freshman year (which the previous clinician had not done) and noted that she saw that my weight had remained around the same. So she trusts that I do not have an eating disorder and admitted that ‘we made a mistake.’"

Photo credit: Frances Chan/Facebook