updated 12/5/2009 6:24:25 PM ET 2009-12-05T23:24:25

Obese students at a historically black college near Philadelphia won't have to take a fitness class to graduate after all.

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Lincoln University faculty nixed the idea this week amid complaints the so-called "fat course" undermined a school principle of equal treatment.

The school had initiated the policy to address high rates of obesity and diabetes, especially in the African-American community.

About 80 students had gotten e-mails saying they had to take the fitness course to graduate. The plan was to target students with a body mass index of 30 or above. That's considered obese.

The "Fitness for Life" course will instead be suggested to certain students after a freshman wellness class that addresses a number of health issues.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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