University's mandatory Fitbit program under fire from National Eating Disorder Association

TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma university is under fire for its mandatory use of the Fitbit.

The National Eating Disorder Association collaborated on a petition against Oral Roberts University’s fitness program, one that requires students to walk 10,000 steps each day.

The association has garnered over 1,300 of the 1,500 signatures they are aiming to get.

Claire Misko of the association said they want to end ORU’s fitness tracking.%



“This is a huge issue,” Misko said. “Eating disorders have reached epidemic proportions generally, but on college campuses (it is) particularly an issue we’re concerned about.”

The group has started the hashtag #DontTrackMe and says fitness technology is especially dangerous for people who suffer from eating disorders or are susceptible to having one.

“Tracking and obsession with numbers is really part of the eating disorder,” Misko said.

Students said all the attention is giving the school a bad rap.

"Honestly, working out is a stress reliever, and they're saying in those articles that it's putting more stress in our lives, but when we go work out, it actually relieves a lot of stress," one student told KOKI-TV.

Another said that a teacher would “be there for (students suffering eating disorders) and pray for them.”

Petition supporters said those students could still exist, and they hope the university changes its policy.

Officials from the National Eating Disorder Association told KOKI-TV that fitness tracking has positives and negatives. They said that while it can be positive for many, it can produce negative outcomes for others.