With the start of a new semester comes, for many UNC undergraduates, the start of an LFIT. We students love to hate on LFITs; common complaints are that they’re pointless, that you don’t actually gain anything from the course or that these courses are a waste of time and money.
The true failures of the Lifetime Fitness curriculum, however, may be even more detrimental to student well-being. Although instructors and day-to-day class activities may vary by course and semester, the LFIT curriculum is unified in its textbook and online course modules. This means that every single student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is reading and engaging with the problematic themes and values of the course.
The textbook, titled “21st Century Wellness”, has been used for years, although not without criticism. A 2018 News & Observer article covered some of the inaccuracies and controversial textbook material; namely, calling cancer a 'disease of choice.'
After the article’s publication, associate dean of undergraduate curricula, James Thompson, reported to The Daily Tar Heel that, “It was a problem; they identified it, and it’s now corrected.”
One of the most highly-criticized quotes from the textbook said that, “When obsessed with weight, many if not most women and some men have become habitual dieters.” In The Daily Tar Heel's article, Thompson said claims like this had been "corrected." But I found it in my online module just this week.