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Change in BSA Health and Medical Form

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This may be old news and I just missed it, but as I was sending out the link to one of our new Scouts, I noticed a change. Instead of just discussing the height and weight chart, it now also discusses body fat percentage:




Individuals desiring to participate in any high-adventure activity or event in which emergency evacuation would take longer

than 30 minutes by ground transportation will not be permitted to do so if they exceed the height/weight limits as documented

in the table at the bottom of this page or if during a physical exam their health care provider determines that body fat

percentage is outside the range of 10 to 31 percent for a woman or 2 to 25 percent for a man. Enforcing this limit is strongly

encouraged for all other events, but it is not mandatory. (For healthy height/weight guidelines, visit www.cdc.gov.)


There is also a space to record Body Fat % next to the Height and Weight information.


I can't determine if this is meant to be more restrictive, or more liberal - can someone outside the height/ weight grid still go, if their body fat is within the range? I'm inside the Recommended weight numbers, so this isn't an issue for me - just wondering in case it comes up.

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I think more liberal as there are different ways to measure body fat and no one method such as BMI is specified on the form. So this may finally be the Sanity Clause we needed, just in time for Christmas :)


The form B needs a further edit on this point. The top line should state

Meets height/weight OR body fat % limits []Yes []No


My $0.02


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It's more restrictive. You can be disqualified if you don't meet either standard.


For people my height, I think it would be common for people who just fit within the weight limit to be over on the body fat percentage. The weight limit appears to make allowance for people who have a lot of muscle. If you don't have a lot of muscle, though, you could easily be more than 25% body fat but still weigh less than the limit.


It's certainly a bit subjective here. I don't think most physicals typically calculate body fat percentage, and it can be hard to get exactly the same reading from time to time.

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