In an attempt to tackle obesity on its campus, a university in Jiangsu, China, is offering overweight students the chance to enroll in a special weight-loss program, where they will receive their grades based on how much weight they shed and on how well they do in class.
Zhou Quanfu, a lecturer at the Nanjing Agriculture University, came up with the idea for the accredited weight loss program after learning that most of his overweight students didn’t exercise because they thought it was pointless. So he decided to motivate them by having their grades depend more on their physical shape than on their actual performance in school. Sixty per cent of each student’s grade is determined by how much weight they lose in a set period of time, with their curricular activity only accounting for 40 percent of the total score. Students enrolled in the program have to lose at least 7 percent of their original weight by the end of the semester in order to receive full grades.
To be accepted into the unique weight loss program, students at Nanjing Agriculture University must first undergo a medical checkup, with only those whose body fat exceeds 30% and a body mass index greater than 28 getting accepted. They then have to undergo a serious weight loss regime, which includes both intense physical activities and a drastic change in diet.
Whereas other students only have PE class once a week, those in the weight loss program take part in three 90-minute fitness classes per week. They are required to do weights training, sit-ups, planking, jogging, stair-climbing and running on treadmills.
Apart from exercising, students must also keep an eye on their diet, record their daily calorie intake and upload photos of their meals to a WeChat group, for feedback from professional nutritionists.
So far, the program appears to be a success, with one student managing to drop from from 110kg to 84.5kg. Zhou Quanfu hopes that others will follow his example, if not for their health, at least so they can receive full grades in school.