American university apologises for targeting obese students with weight-loss campaign

The private college emailed students with higher body mass index

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The Independent US

An American university has apologised for targeting advertising for a health and fitness programme at overweight students.

Bryn Mawr college, near the city of Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania, sent students with an “elevated” body mass indexes an email suggesting they enrol in the health programme.

The scheme had been offered previously at the £29,500-a-year college twice without any complaints, US broadcaster NBC News reports.

"On behalf of everyone involved with this programme, I sincerely apologize to anyone who has been upset or offended by our communications, and I want to reassure the community that we will rethink our approaches and our assumptions moving forward," Kay Keer, the college’s health centre director said.

“While this programme has been offered successfully in the past, this semester several students have taken issue with some of the communications that were used to invite students to take advantage of this opportunity.”

It is believed students' BMI was obtained from measurements taken at the health centre.

The institution came under pressure after an outcry on social media.

The college is women-only and has a student population of about 2,000. It is privately run and was founded by Quakers in 1885.