Canada’s Carleton University removed the weight scale from its campus gym after several students complained about being “triggered” by it. A sign has been put up in place of the scale, explaining that the decision to remove it is “in keeping with current fitness and social trends.”
The school’s manager of health and wellness programs, Bruce Marshall, told the school newspaper that focusing only on weight had a negative impact when it came to fitness and athletics.
“We don’t believe being fixated on weight has any positive effect on your health and well-being,” he said to the Charlatan. “The body is an amazing machine and even when we are dieting and training it will often find a homeostasis at a certain weight.”
He added that it can take a long time for anyone to notice a change in weight, so there was no point in obsessing about it.
Marshall may have a point that measuring the circumference of your girth can be a more effective indicator of fitness than a number on a scale. However, removing the weight scale will only make it more difficult for students who want to lose or gain weight to track their progress at the gym. After all, being overweight or underweight is a major health concern.
The scale is also important for athletes who rely on those measurements to gauge their weight class in sports like boxing and wrestling.
Several students were completely onboard with the decision. Per the Charlatan, one student named Samar El-Faki said it was a good call that accommodated people with eating disorders.
“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.”
But she was in the minority, as many other students criticized the college for pandering to special snowflakes. “Next it will be the mirrors,” wrote another student on Facebook.
Speaking to CBC, Marshall says that the school will reconsider its decision to remove the scale due to the backlash. “We shouldn’t remove something because some people abuse it,” said Marko Miljusevic, a second-year student. “If they can’t handle the number that shows up on the scale then don’t step on it.”