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Conservative news outlets slam Carleton University gym for removing scales

WATCH: Backlash after Carleton officials try to send a message about positive body image.

A decision to remove the scale at a Carleton University’s gym has received some international, but negative attention from Conservative news programs like Breitbart and The O’Reilly Factor.

Gym officials made the decision to keep up with “current fitness trends,” Bruce Marshall, health and wellness manager at Carlton Athletics told the school newspaper The Charlatan.

“We don’t believe being fixated on weight has any positive effect on your health and well-being,” Marshall told the school’s newspaper.

“It takes weeks, even months to make a permanent change in your weight. So why obsess about it?”

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Students at the school had mixed views about it.

“Scales are very triggering,” Carleton student Samar El Faki wrote in a Facebook comment. “I think people are being insensitive because they simply don’t understand. They think eating disorders are a choice when they are actually a serious illness.”

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But others were skeptical.

“This cannot be real,” one student wrote on Twitter.

This seemingly innocuous change has made international headlines and angered conservatives in Canada and the U.S.

Conservative media outlets The Rebel Media, along with American Alt-right Breitbart reported on the story, which started trending with the hashtag #BringBackTheScale.

American conservative Bill O’Reilly even talked about it on his show, The O’Reilly Factor, Monday night.

O’Reilly, as well as other critics, seemed to take offence with the particular comment from El Faki when she called the scales “triggering.”

“Snowflake culture is harming everybody,” O’Reilly said, before going into a discussion about the definition of triggering.

READ MORE: Should Quebec schools be subjecting students to weigh-ins in gym class?

The Daily Wire, another American conservative news outlet, branded the news “pathetic.”

“Clearly, the move to nix the scale was a way to shield snowflakes from a truth which makes them uncomfortable,” The Daily Wire wrote.

But should a gym actually have a scale?

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Toronto-based nutritionist and trainer Kyle Byron told Global News he measures body fat percentage rather than weight.

“The fact that there’s been a backlash … is consistent with the public’s misunderstanding with what’s important with our health,” Byron said.

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While some of his clients are skeptical about ditching the scale, he says “the proof is in the pudding,” when they feel better, they’re leaner or they’re faster on the field or in their sport.

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School officials said that the matter hadn’t been closed, and they were considering other options for if and where they would return the scale.

“We are quite surprised at the attention we received over the forward thinking idea of removing the scales from our fitness center,” Marshall said in an email to Global News. “As a compromise we may put the scales in the change rooms but have not made a final decision.”