Should Anorexic Men Or Women Be Allowed In The Gym?

Nina Carbone | July 29, 2009 - 1:00 pm

The Daily Mail reported on one woman’s harsh words for her former gym and asks: Why the hell did they let her join and work out when she was so clearly and severely anorexic? (As in skin-and-bones bad.) To the gym’s credit, it soon asked Jessica Bennington, 19, to produce a doctor’s note clearly stating she was healthy enough to work out. Turns out, just days later, she was admitted to the hospital for malnourishment and a host of other complications. Gotta say…
I’m a bit surprised this gym was so on top of her health situation in the first place. In my past six or so years worth of gym trips I’ve seen loads of seemingly anorexic women working out way harder than I ever could, or would. I usually look at them with concern and horror and pity—and then I walk up to the front desk and wonder, Who let these women past the freaking front door? No amount of baggy T-shirt layers can cover up the fact that she (or he) is in need of some major, intervention-like help. Part of me thinks, hey, it isn’t my problem. But I also want to help, even if that wouldn’t be kindly received. In one case, I actually asked for a manager and tattletaled on a woman. (She was ashy, so pale she was almost blue and her eyes were starting to roll into the back of her head. Not kidding.) I figured, better to have the manager make a scene and order her off the elliptical than have her faint and fall off. But, really: Who’s responsibility is it to look out for someone in this condition? Mine? Should gym management step in as Bennington is claiming? Clearly, there are legal issues at hand, but I’m talking from a moral perspective—aren’t we all at fault? Or are none of us at fault? [Daily Mail]