SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The Boy Scouts of America is facing controversy over new rules denying obese Scouts from participating in this year’s National Scout Jamboree.

Tens of thousands of Scouts from around the world and their leaders are gathering in West Virginia for the event. Activities include hiking, shooting, rock climbing and extreme sports.

New guidelines for body mass index means those who are severely obese with a BMI of 40 or above won’t be allowed to attend. Those with a BMI of 32-39, who are considered obese, need a doctor’s note.

The average body mass index for a scout ranges from 18-25.

Jose Bonilla, director of Fitness SF, told KPIX 5 that excluding obese Scouts from the event is not the answer.

“To exclude then from physical activity, even though I understand there is health risks associated with the intensity of the workout, I think there should be a modification,” Bonilla said.

Boy Scouts of America said members were given advance notice about the new rules and plenty of time to get serious about their health.

The Jamboree began on Monday and is scheduled to continue through the 24th.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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