By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
cnnAuthor = "By Elizabeth Landau, CNN";
Obesity increases a person's risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, some cancers and other ailments.
Students must pass BMI test in order to place out of fitness class at Lincoln University
Lincoln is a historically black college in Oxford, Pennsylvania
Department head defends the policy; legal expert says the requirement is excessive
African-Americans were 1.4 times as likely to be obese as non-Hispanic whites in 2007
(CNN) -- Most college students expect to receive their diplomas on the basis of grades, but at a Pennsylvania school, physical fitness matters too.
Students at Lincoln University with a body mass index of 30 or above, reflective of obesity, must take a fitness course that meets three hours per week. Those who are assigned to the class but do not complete it cannot graduate.