Public schools to send home weight reports

  1. 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/

    Starting in the fall, public schools across Massachusetts will send reports home to parents alerting them if their child weighs too much or too little - the centerpiece of a campaign to shrink bulging waistlines and halt obesity-related diseases once rare in children.

    The childhood screenings, modeled after initiatives in Arkansas and New York City, won unanimous approval yesterday from the state's Public Health Council, an appointed board of doctors, academics, and service providers.

    Students in the first, fourth, seventh, and 10th grades will be measured and weighed so school health officials can calculate their body mass index score, a standard measurement used to gauge the appropriateness of someone's weight.
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  3. by   kitkat260
    I realize that this is something that the schools are doing to try to stop childhood obesity but I feel that it is not up to the school system to gauge the "appropriateness" of my child's weight. That's what dietitians and doctors are for. Besides, I have a scale at home; if I'm that concerned that my child's weight is getting out of hand, I'm more than capable of weighing my child myself.

    The job of a school is to educate-why not send home facts about childhood obesity and tips to prevent or control it? That would be more in scope with what the schools should be doing.
  4. by   tma0312
    I think its a great idea since many families do not have access to basic health screenings that school nurses are able to provide. I went to a private school as a child, but many kids who went there, their parents spent every last dime to send them to a private school. I doubt they had any health care at all.

    So why not? I think we overestimate how much parents really know about basic health care, especially in relation to the obesity epidemic.
  5. by   runninfool1009
    I tend to agree with KitKat. I think it's the right idea, but the wrong approach. The parents are presumably well aware of the problem, if their child is overweight, since they're the ones bringing the food home in the first place. I think that singling kids out (especially if they're overweight) is just going to make them feel worse. I believe they should be made aware of the negative consequences of obesity, but it needs to start with the parents being educated, not the kids being put on the spot. Just my
  6. by   FireStarterRN
    Schools have always done health screenings. Vision, hearing, scoliosis, posture, speech. This is nothing new. many Americans don't really have a good gauge as to what a healthy weight is anymore, to tell the truth.

    Obesity in the young is a major health crisis today and will gravely affect these children in the years to come.
  7. by   John20
    I think it's great. So many people in this country are blind to what is a healthy weight. They see fat people in bathing suits and use it as a comparison. "See I'm no where near as fat as he/she is." What is accepted in this country as a healthy physique really is not. The more we can make people aware of this misconception the better. If a few feelings are hurt in the process, oh well. Let's put aside our sensitive feelings and get some results before our society goes down the drain.
  8. by   HonestRN
    Quote from runninfool1009
    I tend to agree with KitKat. I think it's the right idea, but the wrong approach. The parents are presumably well aware of the problem, if their child is overweight, since they're the ones bringing the food home in the first place. I think that singling kids out (especially if they're overweight) is just going to make them feel worse. I believe they should be made aware of the negative consequences of obesity, but it needs to start with the parents being educated, not the kids being put on the spot. Just my
    "According to a report in Pediatric Nursing Journal, parents' perceptions of their children's weight problems may not be dependable or accurate. In an article on childhood obesity., found that among 99 mothers of overweight children, 79% failed to identify their children as overweight. This is troublesome, Hodges said, because parents' ability to recognize and accept that their child is overweight is vital if interventions are to be successful.
    The problem appears to be that the parent's don't recognize it as this study found; "
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Parent...ty-a0100734957
  9. by   runninfool1009
    Which makes sense, because there's probably a good chance that the parents are overweight themselves. I just don't think that it's the schools' place to be imposing that on the kids. Let's put the focus back on the parents, not the school officials.
  10. by   just_cause
    I hope the teachers sending out these letters are within their appropriate BMI range.... otherwise - seems a bit outlandish.
  11. by   tma0312
    Quote from just_cause
    I hope the teachers sending out these letters are within their appropriate BMI range.... otherwise - seems a bit outlandish.
    Then the same could go for teachers who send home letters saying that the child has a vision problem? Must they have 20/20 vision? Obesity is no less a health issue then poor eyesight, I would think. These letters do put the focus back on parents, because the parents are getting the letters alerting them to a possible problem. Controlling a weight problem early on is much easier then 20 years down the road.
  12. by   HonestRN
    Quote from just_cause
    I hope the teachers sending out these letters are within their appropriate BMI range.... otherwise - seems a bit outlandish.
    Like overweight health care professionals counseling overweight patients?

    I personally don't see this as a problem. As a previous poster stated the schools already screen for a number of health concerns. The sooner obesity is recognized and dealt with the better. Being overweight as a child causes many negative emotional/psychological, physical and social problems for the child. I doubt any of the children are being publicly singled out.
  13. by   just_cause
    Apologize for adding sarcasm where not 'appreciated/needed/wanted'. I agree with the content being posted here .
    v/r
    Last edit by just_cause on Apr 14, '09
  14. by   leslie :-D
    if schools are going to start doing this, i agree that educational materials on obesity, are a must.
    also, referrals and resources where parents can get help.
    what adults choose to do with their bodies, is their right.
    but 'someone' has to be looking out for the well being of our children...
    and sadly, it seems that many are denying the obesity/overweight existence anyways.
    this really shouldn't be about offending the parents.
    rather, (and i'd hope that parents would agree) let's nip this in the bud.
    it already has reached catastrophic proportions.
    no need for this...
    none whatsoever.

    leslie

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