Public schools to send home weight reports - page 3

What do you all think of this? I think it's a step in the right direction to address the public health crisis of overweight kids.... Read More

  1. by   runninfool1009
    the school does not need to intervene except maybe on an as needed basis.

    I absolutely agree with this. I Love Trauma, your case is probably the exception, rather than the rule. My original point was that the parents need education, and perhaps self-discipline to change the problem. Schools need to intervene in terms of providing healthy cafeteria choices and P.E. on a DAILY basis, but pulling kids to get actual weight and subsequent BMI is where it crosses the line. That should be up to the discretion of the parents, not the school. The screenings done for vision and hearing don't carry the same stigma as a weight problem. Parents need to look outside themselves, and advocate for their kids. I don't have the solution, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve school officials pulling kids in random grade levels to confirm their overweight status. The psychological component makes it different than just less than 20/20 vision or a hearing impairment.
  2. by   FireStarterRN
    It has to be a collective effort to change the whole society, to defeat this trend where each generation is fatter than the previous one. Because of the pervasiveness of our fast food nation, it makes it difficult for even conscientious parents to make sure their children eat properly.

    I'm a conscientious parent. I lean toward being a health food nut, but I'm not at all a fanatic. I'm constantly frustrated by the junk food my children encounter in every activity they engage in outside of the home.

    Look at how far we've come in defeating smoking. It was done with a massive public relations campaign, legislation, education in schools, and the rest. I think we can do the same with food starting with the younger generation. We, as nurses, know better than anyone the suffering these young people will face as they get older and begin to have the health problems that result from poor eating habits.
  3. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    As a person who has been overweight since childhood and understands how difficult it can be to face going to school being the "fat kid" I know how it is for these kids. I think that the idea behind this program is coming from a good place but it needs to be handled properly. Having each child weighed and measured for height is a good idea and that information should be sent to parents confidentially (someone said that in other areas they are sent home in report cards that the kids can't open.) I think that this program needs to include all ends of the spectrum not just for those who are overweight but those children who are considered underweight. Literature needs to be sent home discussing about how important it is for kids to be a healthy weight and the negative effects of being either underweight or overweight. It should also list in the report for every child, even if they are considered a healthy weight, that the child's pediatrician/primary care provider should be consulted to confirm the child's health status. In the literature that is sent home they should also include tips for parents to help encourage good eating habits for their children and resources available if your child does have a weight problem (such as support groups, local sports groups and activities available for these children.) We need to keep in mind that while many of the users/parents on this board are well educated and are able to teach the foundations of good nutrition to their children not all parents are as educated or aware of good nutrition and with a bit of literature and some sound, non-judgmental advice I think it can really help.

    To the person who said that "having overweight children is like a form of child neglect"; I completely disagree with you, I don't believe that it is neglect it is a combination of factors that contribute to obesity and by making blanket statements like that it shows that we still have a lot of learning and teaching to do.

    I know that as a child I consumed most of the same foods in the same quantity that other children did but I was so self conscious that I hated doing team sports or doing any kind of physical activity in front of people, which lead me to be overweight and became a pattern that repeated itself. But this isn't about me, its about realizing there are numerous factors that contribute to weight problems in children but by trying to practice preventive measures it can help to lower the cases of obesity. I think that if this program is done correctly it will go over smoothly but you have to make it all inclusive and not trying to isolate specific groups but to promote health in all groups of children. While its easy to spot obesity its also easy for programs like this to miss warning signs of conditions like anorexia and bulimia as well as other issues with eating and exercise, lets just make sure that we don't single anybody out and we handle this in a way that is promoting health and maintaining the dignity and respect of the children and their families.

    !Chris
  4. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from runninfool1009
    My original point was that the parents need education, and perhaps self-discipline to change the problem. Schools need to intervene in terms of providing healthy cafeteria choices and P.E. on a DAILY basis, but pulling kids to get actual weight and subsequent BMI is where it crosses the line. That should be up to the discretion of the parents, not the school.
    i agree with everything...even about it crossing the line when schools get involved.
    however, i'm thinking this must be a type of desperate measure since these interventions are NOT happening at home (for the most part).
    so for whatever reason our children are getting more overweight, what is anyone supposed to do if the parents can't/won't intervene??

    Quote from FireStarterRN
    It has to be a collective effort to change the whole society, to defeat this trend where each generation is fatter than the previous one. Because of the pervasiveness of our fast food nation, it makes it difficult for even conscientious parents to make sure their children eat properly.

    I'm a conscientious parent. I lean toward being a health food nut, but I'm not at all a fanatic. I'm constantly frustrated by the junk food my children encounter in every activity they engage in outside of the home.
    it does have to be a collective and collaborative effort across the board.
    the dept of ed needs to start hiring food service directors who insist on healthy lunches for our kids, and the budget to do so.
    dang, even pb&j w/milk and fruit, would be acceptable.
    mickey d's is convenient for parents who are tired.
    but we need to make sacrifices for their benefit.
    cook on weekends and freeze.
    sometimes i would make omelettes for supper, which the kids loved.
    i'm pretty conscientous but dad is not.
    now that my kids are teens, they are cleary showing preference for the smoothies i make them, versus the granola bars or sweetened cereal that dad will buy.
    chicken is inexpensive and can be prepared 1000 ways.
    home made sauce can go far in adding to pasta, meat, beans.
    if parents don't know how, they can always call up their pediatrician or local medical center.
    the info is there for those who are interested.

    we have a million threads on here about obesity and it is now well understood there are many dynamics to struggle with.
    i get that.
    what i don't get, is why on earth are our children suffering for it?
    they're not food addicts, not yet anyway.
    rather than pass these habits onto our kids, why not give them the help that we couldn't provide for ourselves?
    they deserve that much, and so much more.

    the help is there.
    it's up to you (the parents).

    leslie
  5. by   casi
    I think this is awesome. We do so many screenings in the schools why not do obesity screening. What is so wrong with it if we give parents the resources they need to help their children live a healthy lifestyle?
  6. by   feralnostalgia
    I went through this in high school in arkansas. the BMI system doesn't even take into account the possibility that some people have muscle...I knew a lot of athletes who "failed" the BMI due to all that heavy muscle...

    it was definitely not popular with the locals. is anyone under the impression that there are overweight teenagers who are not already keenly aware of that fact?
  7. by   vashtee
    Good luck getting 10th grade girls on the scale. My daughter is not overweight, but she absolutely refused to get on the scale at school when they told the kids they were weighing them. She said she'd rather take a failing grade for the day, and she wasn't the only one. She thought the whole thing was humiliating, especially for the girls who DID have weight issues.

    She is pretty sensitive about weight matters since she used to take Depakote for seizures (which DID make her a little on the chubby side).

    If they are really worried about the kid's weight, they should quit selling junk food and soda at school, and quit allowing kids to bring it from home. Also, daily PE would be helpful. Fat kids know they are fat, and their parents know it, too (although they may not know the exact numbers.)
  8. by   feralnostalgia
    Quote from vashtee
    If they are really worried about the kid's weight, they should quit selling junk food and soda at school, and quit allowing kids to bring it from home. Also, daily PE would be helpful.
    seriously. I got weighed and measured right after having my usual school lunch of chili-cheese fries, a double cheeseburger, and a soda. I think I had classmates who survived entirely on hot cheetos and mountain dew. it's a miracle I didn't give myself a stroke before I went vegan and started packing my own lunch.

    then again, expecting the administration of the little rock school district to be intelligent is a bit naive.
  9. by   FireStarterRN
    I agree, the schools need to put their money where their mouths are. Unhealthy food needs to be eradicated from the menus. They need to stop selling junk food at sporting events. All of this must go hand in hand with these health screenings.

    This all has to be done with the utmost sensitivity, of course. Privacy should be carefully guarded.

    Think of it fellow nurses. We weigh all our patients who enter the hospital. Weighing is a part of every physical check up I've been to.

    This upcoming generation of kids is facing a health menace that will lower their quality of life, cause them suffering, and cost society a bundle in drugs, surgeries, procedures to treat the results of preventable diseases. It's in everyone's interest to band together and fight this problem.
  10. by   ®Nurse
    My sister and her husband home schooled all nine of their children. So far, they've all managed to go on to college and obtain degrees in various fields. Neat kids, every single one.

    I'm kinda 'old school' myself, and I find that I police myself quite well. I wear my seat belt, brush my teeth, pay my taxes and contribute gainfully to society.

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably either home school my child, or find a really good charter school nearby.
  11. by   Equinox_93
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    What do you all think of this? I think it's a step in the right direction to address the public health crisis of overweight kids.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...eight_reports/
    I think the schools should first get a handle on the abysmal academic scores- and THEN they can worry about details the parents should already be handling- such as the child's weight and overall health.

    Don't get me wrong- I am all for offering services where one can- but making it mandatory? No. If the parents want these things done- that's fine. The school can send home a form and parents can make 'appointments' for their child/ren. But I am 100% against the "cattle call weigh-in" where all the students gather in the room to be put on a scale (or anything else) so they can send home a little paper. We medical persons want to talk about human dignity? How about we show some to the students? *grumble*

    The public obesity epidemic is not going to be fixed by sending a paper home saying "your kid is fat". It will be fixed by offering kids ample opportunity for exercise- (not sitting at a desk 8hrs a day). It will be fixed by offering kids *healthy* dietary selections at home *and at school*. It will be fixed through parental education and education of those same students. Standing them on a scale for an assessment isn't going to do squat, IMO- other than take time away from the academic day and tell people what is already painfully obvious in most cases.
  12. by   animal1993
    I'm still trying to figure out exactly what they expect me, as a parent, to do with this information. My daughter is overweight (not a lot, but enough that I'm concerned), and that is totally the fault of my husband and I. I admit that. So, if my daughter's school were to send something home to me stating that she is "too fat", do they think that will somehow act like a magic wand, and all of a sudden my daughter will slim down? The problem is (at least for me) that I never learned to eat properly. So, even though I do make a very conscious effort to give her healthy choices, I'm not sure that I really understand what that means. Therefore, I think that our children would benefit more from programs created to educate parents on proper diet, etc. (And not just a leaftlet sent home with their child's "report card".) I can only imagine how embarrassed these children feel. I wasn't even that overweight when I was in school, and I remember the mean comments other students made to me when we would discuss weight issues in health class. I don't ever want to think about my little girl ever having to feel that way.
  13. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Here is my perspective as a school nurse: this is a good idea, but I don't think it will make a difference.

    My reasoning is that here in Texas, we already screen for Acanthosis Nigricans (thickening of the skin on the neck that indicates insulin resistance and risk for diabetes). For kids with + AN, we send home a note which includes two BP readings (which almost always are hypertensive or prehypertensive) and BMI. Almost without fail, I get no response from the parents, or occasionally I get a note back saying "my kid is not overweight" even though the BMI indicates he/she is OBESE! I have tried to educate them, and they don't want to hear it. I have a 5th grader who weighs 300 lbs which is up from 200 in 4th grade. This kid has already lost a parent to obesity related complications, and I would guess that parent was about 450-500 easily. Do you think the letters I have sent home made even a little difference? Not likely.

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