A Yale student’s bizarre “ice cream and Cheetos” college mandate is turning heads this week. The rail thin student says the college said she was "sickly thin" and forced her to put on weight or be suspended from campus. As a result, the 20-year-old turned to a twice-daily diet of ice cream and other snacks in order to keep her academic career afloat.
Reports the CS Monitor on April 9: History major Frances Chan said her “Yale physician told her on Friday that university officials made a mistake and no longer believe she has an eating disorder. She had been stuffing her face with ice cream and other snacks to try to gain weight.”
The off-the-wall request from the prestigious college is a first of its kind – Chan was made to undergo weekly weigh-ins, since December of last year, or face a suspension from the campus that would be reflected on her student record. Chan stands at just over five feet, and weighs only 92 pounds, but is otherwise healthy.
At least, her health was in tip-top shape before being made to eat junk food for months on end. She explains:
“It felt really bad to be this powerless,” Chan said. “I ate ice cream twice a day. I ate cookies. I used elevators instead of walking up stairs. But I don’t really gain any weight.”
Yale spokesperson Tom Conroy refused to provide a response to media inquiries, stating the university cannot comment because of medical privacy regulations.
Says NewsOxy: “The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 25 percent of college students have eating disorders. The same percent of college women report managing weight by binging and purging, says the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.”
The Daily Mail adds the following:
Chan said the New Haven, Connecticut, college wouldn't even let up when her parents confirmed she, and the rest of her family, had always been naturally skinny and even sent in childhood medical records and had their doctor contact the school.
One health professional even told her that her low weight would kill her and they threatened to put her on a medical leave of absence. Angry, helpless and distracted from her studies, Chan decided to pen an essay about her experience for the Huffington Post.
“My mom was the same; my whole family is skinny,” Chan said. “We all enjoy Mom's fabulous cooking, which included Taiwanese beef noodle soup, tricolor pasta, strawberry cheesecake, and cream puffs, none of which make the Weight Watchers shortlist. I just don't gain weight easily.”
Chan stopped because she was fed up, and her story has since painted Yale in an obtrusive light – one that the Connecticut college perhaps deserves to be in after the way Chan says she was treated.
“No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don't have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one. If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try – in the meantime, I'll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time,” Chan wrote.