Planet China

Slim down the students

Nanjing Agricultural University has been running a course for a while that has been very popular, but not very academic. It’s called ‘fat reduction’, according to Changjiang Daily, and credits are allocated to students who manage to slim down by 7% or more in body weight.

The course was started after the university calculated that at least 12% of its students were overweight, with body mass indexes (BMI) greater than 30. It says it realised that many of them wanted to slim down but were not sure how. The teaching includes dietary guidance and aerobic programmes (one assignment saw teachers guiding 40 students on a 12km walk). There are even two psychology graduates on hand to help the class boost its willpower.

To get the chance of graduating, students need to attend 18 fat reduction classes, with three sessions every week. However, Changjiang Daily notes that not everyone is eligible to get course credits from this addition to the curriculum: only those with a BMI score of 28 or more can get onto the programme in the first place.


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