Frances Chan, Yale Student


Frances Chan, a 20-year-old student at Yale University, has been eating ice cream twice a day for months now. And while that seems like a dream come true for most (including us), it has been a nightmare for the History major.

At 5-feet 2-inches and 92 pounds, Frances has been battling Yale health officials over her petite frame since December. Apparently doctors thought that her health was in danger and she was told to gain weight or be forced to leave school.

So Frances began eating ice cream, cookies and Cheetos every day, basically keeping a diet that most stoners would be proud of. However, her efforts to put on pounds did not lead to the results doctors were looking for.

Frances' parents even sent old medical records to Yale health officials to prove that she's always been naturally skinny, but she was still forced to see a mental health professional and a nutritionist. 

"It felt really bad to be this powerless," Chan told the New Haven Register, revealing that she had to have weekly weigh-ins. "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. I don't know if my body is even capable of gaining three more pounds."

If she needed tips, we could have just pointed her to KFC for a Double Down sandwich.

Just kidding. No one should eat that. For the uninitiated, a Double Down is bacon and cheese shoved between two pieces of fried chicken. Give yourself a moment to really take that recipe in. We just gained a pound writing about it.

Fortunately, Frances doesn't have to seek out extra calories anymore. She started seeing a new doctor recently who on Friday said that university officials made a mistake by just focusing on her body-mass index and that she is indeed just naturally thin. Yale has since agreed with that assessment and they are no longer threatening to put Frances on leave.

In a piece written by Frances for the Huffington Post, the 20-year-old chronicles her journey and airs her frustration at the school for forcing her to gain weight. She believes that practice can actually lead to more dangerous situations than what the health center is trying to prevent.

"A recent graduate messaged me saying that her cholesterol had actually gone up due to the intensive weight-gain diet she used to release herself from weekly weigh-ins," she writes. "By forcing standards upon us that we cannot meet, the University plays the same role as fashion magazines and swimsuit calendars that teach us about the "correct shape" of the human body."

Frances ends her post by saying she will now spend her time catching up on studying for midterms instead of trying to gain weight.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, visit the National Eating Disorder Association website for information on how to get help.

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