New BMI rule for Boy Scout Jamboree

9:07 PM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. --  For more than 100 years Boy Scout rule number one has been to 'be prepared'.

This year a new rule for Scouts who wanted to attend the 10 day Jamboree in West Virginia was you can't tip the scales too far.

"The whole idea was safety for the participants," Boy Scouts of America Northern Star Council Spokesman Kent York said of a new rule about weight concerning the Jamboree attendees.

The Scouts rule was that if you had a BMI of 31.9-39.9 you had to get a doctor to sign off allowing you to participate in the Jamboree.

If you had a BMI of 40 or above a Scout needn't apply.

"This is a very active and very energetic activity that the kids will participate in at altitude so we wanted to make sure everybody prepared to have safe fun experience," York said.

The Jamboree is extremely physical.

It's basically like ten days of Survivor at high altitude.

There are miles long hikes and zip lines, 36 miles of mountains to bike and white water rafting.

The BMI guidelines set by the Scouts go past what is considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and many doctors.

"The adult definition for overweight is if your BMI is 27 to 30. If your BMI is greater than 30 you are obese and if the BMI is greater than 40 its severe obesity," Fairview Clinic-Savage Dr. Jun Liang said.

The Scouts are putting the cut off at 40.

A healthy BMI, again according to the CDC, is at 25 and below.

Kent York says one scout in the Council did apply at a BMI higher than 30 and he wound up able to qualify with more physical testing.

As for scouting as a whole, this BMI scale isn't the standard.

"We don't have those same types of requirements for everything. This is for a special highly advanced activity that takes place so it's outside normal scouting activity," York said.

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