Is BMI ever TMI?
January 12th, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Is BMI ever TMI?

By Donna Krache, CNN

(CNN) As you read this, somewhere in a gym in a school in Georgia, a student may be stepping onto a scale - backward - to comply with state law. Georgia is one of the latest states to mandate that schools track fitness levels and calculate body mass index (BMI) in an effort to combat childhood obesity, and provide parents with reports on their students' physical composition and fitness.

Georgia is second in the nation in childhood obesity; one in three children ages 10-17 is considered overweight or obese in the state, according to its Department of Education.  According to Georgia State Rep. Brooks Coleman, the new law is one answer to that problem.  Concerned about a trend toward less physical education and recess in state schools, he helped to sponsor HB 229, also known as SHAPE, the Student Health and Physical Education Act, which was passed by the Georgia Legislature and signed by the governor in 2009. Schools begin weighing and measuring students this month. Physical education teachers will ask children to step onto scales and turn around so they don't see their own weight.  Their parents will be given calculated information on BMI and fitness levels to share with their kids. Each district will compile its data into a report that is submitted to the governor.

According to the National Association of School Boards of Education, about a dozen states require some sort of weight recording and reporting as a means of combating childhood obesity. Arkansas was the first state to take measurements and send annual reports home to parents, beginning in 2003.

Since then, it has been a growing trend among policymakers trying to confront the epidemic of overweight kids and trying to figure out ways to get parents to act.  According to a 2010 Trust for America's Health survey, 84% of parents believe their kids are at a healthy weight, but research shows that nearly one-third of children and teens can be classified as obese or overweight.  You can see a map of childhood obesity rates by state here.

The CDC says that little is known about the outcomes of BMI measurement and reporting and whether this has a significant impact on weight-related behaviors.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that BMI should be calculated and tracked regularly as part of a child's normal health supervision.

So the question arises:  Who should monitor students' physical composition data, schools or parents?

Some, like Marietta (Georgia) School Board Member Randy Weiner commend their state for focusing attention on the problem of childhood obesity, but question the mandate for schools to measure students' BMI. "Parents are responsible for maintaining and keeping track of their child's fitness level.  The State of Georgia handing a piece of paper to parents stating their child's BMI level is too high or too low will not make a difference to parents who don't value good nutrition and exercise to begin with. Not only could this lead to an additional opportunity for students to bully some kids for being too fat or too skinny, it is an unnecessary intrusion by the state," says Weiner.

Weiner says there are other ways to assess physical fitness, like the Presidential Fitness Test, that don't require weighing and measuring kids at school.

Coleman says he believes it is one role that government should play. He says, "In the long run, if kids develop diabetes and heart trouble, the government pays for it one way or another."

We want to know your opinion: Do you think that schools weighing kids and supplying the information to parents is a solution to the problem of childhood obesity?

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Filed under: Issues • Kids' health • Policy • Practice
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Mr. K

    It's encouraging to see this strike a nerve with so many people. I strongly agree that BMI is NOT an accurate measure of health and fitness. It's also encouraging that so many feel it's important to increase P.E. for kids K-12.

    However, I would contend that we need to carefully look into how we are training incoming P.E. teachers. We also need to look at what professional dvelopment opportunities we are offering current P.E. teachers. Long gone are the drill sargent and roll out the ball P.E. teachers. We need to update the need for well trained P.E. teachers, prepared to help the out of shape/obese youth. How are courses focused on human anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology helping? Shouldn't the courses cover topics just like this blog is covering? I would contend that a discrete, confidential conversation between a trusted P.E. teacher and his/her student would have much more of a lasted effect than a BMI reading.

    I also think that devoting more resources to more competent community youth athletic programs as opposed to expensive private/club athletics would go a long way to improving activity levels in youth.

    January 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  2. Funny news education

    Some people enjoy useless baby humor, while other people are unable to picture exactly why other people really like them. In fact, they normally are primitive, rude or obnoxious, bland, nauseating, violent, as well as ...funny pictures

    January 19, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  3. Darliene Howell

    A study based on 7 million childrn done by Kristine Madsen of the University of California, San Francisco, found that, years later, "children whose parents were told they were overweight were no more likely to have lost weight at that point than children whose parents were not notified."

    Along with this, BMI does not factor in body composition and would place a large, athletic child in the obese category.

    Whether or not BMI screening takes place, schools need to have an inclusive and respectful school climate where size discrimination is not tolerated. If not, weight stigma may cause many more physical problems as a result of stress, including suicide.

    January 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Darliene Howell

      I would like to recommend the free NAAFA Child Advocacy ToolkitSM (CATK) and other written guidelines/resources to assist you looking at programs. The total health of our nation's children is a serious responsibility.

      The NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit shows how Health At Every Size® takes the focus off weight and directs it to healthful eating and enjoyable movement. It addresses the bullying, building positive self-image and eliminating stigmatization of large children. Additionally, the CATK lists resources available to parents and educators or caregivers for educational materials, curriculum and programming that is beneficial for all children. It can be found at:

      January 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  4. momof2

    my two children will be among other children being weighed and measured today. As much as I may view it as intrusive, a waste of time and I could go on and on I also do see more overweight children now then when I was a kid. and while I also believe this is a parents responsibility to monitor and correct, I also think its unreasonable to blame parents for everything. Most children spend more waking hours at school or daycare or with other childcare givers than with parents. And my kids have seen way too many movies at SCHOOL to justify. If its rainy or cold our school watches movies for their recess. I'd prefer gym time. And PE is a short twice a week class. And with the amount of homework my children bring home I'm beginning to wonder who's teaching them and what are they doing at school?

    January 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Nicole

      I agree with you. My child watched 3 movies in 1 day at school! He doesn't get home until 3pm everyday. After homework, dinner, bath, and an 8pm bed time he has little time to do anything. The only thing my child has learned this year is what I have taught him myself. His school is the same way with gym and PE. Its once or twice a week and thats it. I think the teachers are too lazy to take them outside nowadays.

      January 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
      • Tcat

        I can't believe you are actually blaming teachers for overweight kids. You said you child gets home at 3:00 and then to bed at 8:00. what are they doing for the 5 hours a day when at home before bed? It takes 5 hours to take a bath, eat dinner and do homework? I bet they are spending most of those 5 hours in front of a TV or computer playing video games. And what are you fixing them for breakfast and dinner? Poptarts and McDonald's drive thru?

        What about the weekends? What is your kid doing then? What about summers? What are they doing during the summers?

        Children spend way more time at home, WITH THEIR PARENTS, than they do in school. Children are overweight because of poor parenting, not "lazy" teachers. (and obviously you have never taught because if you did, you would know teachers hate rainy outlet for excess childhood energy).

        It's not the schools' fault children are fat, it's parents.

        January 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  5. Old America back

    Government needs to back-off and back out of everyone's lives. Schools should have 1hour of physical education A DAY, 5 times a week. And sure some kids will hate it, but most kids hate school period. And for some kids that would be the only exercise they ever get. I am not talking about getting the kids out there and making them run miles or even a mile, but jumping jacks, sit-ups, playing basketball or something. Get their heart racing so their metabolism gets in gear and working. But to have tests and have weigh ins where you tell a kid they are fat, obese and give them their BMI is down right cruel. That is one more reason to give the bullies for ammo for the chubby people.

    January 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  6. Dennis

    Te BMI used by the government is not acurate. I am listed on the Government BMI as Obese. 33%
    The Bod Pod Test I just completed shows me at Normal. 18%
    The government always pushs one standard and thankfully we are all so different.

    January 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  7. AlwaysTri

    BMI is so inaccurate that I dont' see the point in using it. Yes, of course it's important to monitor kids' health status and weight, but it's typically pretty clear when a child is overweight. I'm a triathlete and have a body fat percentage of around 15%, yet my BMI is somewhere around 24, which is overweight for my height. It's just ridiculous, since it pays no attention to muscle versus fat, but instead uses simply weight.

    January 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  8. Martin

    This is outrageously justified. There are far too many fatties in today's society and we must be rid of them. All gays should be expelled from school or given a lobodomy. I hope to Satan that this will be followed by a sweeping movement across the United States eliminating fat kids, gays, lesbians, and jews.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  9. Nicole

    When I was in school we had health/PE everyday! We had to exercise and I mean really exercise in PE. My son is in K and he goes to PE 1 day a week and the junk they feed them is ridculous. Kids are at school more than they are at home. If schools fed them 2 healthy meals a day and had exercsing in PE everyday then maybe kids would be healthy! But instead its junk food and sitting on their butt 7-8 hours a day.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Children may by AT school more than they are at home but they still eat more at home than at school. My daughter never eats breakfast at school, and neither do most of her friends. I would like to know what percentage of children eat both meals there as opposed to one. But even if you eat healthy for two meals then go home and eat nothing but junk as well as nothing but junk on the weekends then what has been accomplished? Nothing! Education could help some but it will not help everyone.
      Besides I have been in the lunch room with my daughter before, the kids around her did not even eat half of what was on their tray healthy or not.

      January 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • Nicole

        Well almost all of the kids at my chillds school eat both meals. They don't eat the food because it's disgusting! So if all of these kids are skipping both meals what do you think that is doing to their metabolism? My children eat a snack and 1 meal when they get home from school, that's it. So yes I do believe with that a good exercise plan at school and healthy food that actually taste like food would probably help these kids greatly.

        January 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  10. Wndy

    As a child through teen I hated gym class for the reasons of the fitness tests etc. Wouldn't it be better if enjoyable activities and leisure skills were taught? Also what about the HIPPA laws? BMI would be part of protected health information? The government should not be involved! Start young .. teach children activities that build on health and continue to build on that don't test.. monitor... measure. Parents know when their children are obese.. Dr.'s monitor that don't make it a governmental issue as well.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  11. Just a Joke

    All this fitness in schools stuff is just a joke. Back when I was in school they had the fitness tests with the mile run, and the sit and reach thing. They would take a PE class that NEVER ran more than one lap at a time and one day they would just tell you, OK, now go run one full mile, something like 12 laps. And if you couldn't do it, you obviously were a failure. Like 5 kids in the class could do it within the parameters they set...because the PE class didn't condition us to be able to do it! The sit and reach thing was the same thing. The PE class did nothing to improve our flexibility, then one day they want us to be pretzels and have this incredible flexibility....can't do it? FAIL. How is that reasonable and helpful to any kid? All PE ever did was have us play stupid team games where the natural born athletes could show off and the rest of us stood in the outfield like idiots. PE should have been a workout for all of us. Then it might have been worthwhile.

    January 13, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  12. Skeptic10787

    This is a good idea, but it won't work. It's really just an attempt to soothe the "blame the school" mentality in this country. Good behavior starts at home. If parents teach their kids it's ok to eat junk food and play video games, the schools are powerless to stop the trend. We've become a country of fat, lazy, ignorant whiners who are so accustomed to playing the blame game that we don't even think we're responsible for our own (and our kids') bodies anymore. Keep blaming the schools, keep blaming the doctors, keep blaming the food companies... see where it gets you. Better idea, take responsibility for yourself. Eat wholesome foods, walk more, quit smoking, take your doctor's advice rather than finding another who will tell you what you want to hear... it's a simple concept of personal responsibility. Yeah yeah, it's genetics, I know. Guess what folks, EVERYONE has that gene. Our ancient ancestors had to hunt and gather their own food (healthy foods, by the way) just to survive till the next day. Our bodies simply aren't made to drive to the store and stuff our faces with highly processed, highly refined, high calorie imitation foods. Yes, it's your fault you're fat. It's your fault your kids are fat. Now do something about it rather than blame everyone else.

    January 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • RR

      You hit it right on the head, Skeptic!

      I think this intervention from the schools is just fine. One thing I would change, however, is having the kids see their weight. Our society is too soft today and we are raising a generation of soft kids!

      January 13, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  13. Really????

    I understand where some people could have a problem with this. But I really don’t think that better education for the kids is going to do any good. They are not the ones buying the food. It may help them when they get older and have their own money. But do you really think that a 7 year old is going to convince their more than likely obese parent that apples are what they need instead of chips. Having schools have better foods isn’t going to help. The kids eat at the most 10 meals a week at school, and that is only if they eat breakfast there, so for some kids its only 5 meal a week. They eat 11 meals at home. The school could serve nothing but healthy food, have longer or more PE classes, and more recesses and it isn’t going to matter. The kids will go home eat whatever crap is in the house and watch TV. They will still be fat and their parents will still blame the school lunches. That is if they even believe that their kid is obese and not just thick or big boned like the rest of the family.

    January 13, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • RR

      You're right but I still think that increasing awareness, for the kids as well as the parents, is a good thing. But a family with fat parents is probably going to have fat kids anyway.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:07 am |
      • Skeptic10787

        I have to agree with both of you. I blame the parents 100%, but at the same time, increased awareness in the schools could trickle up to some parents. While unfortunately most parents think increased obesity awareness is just government propaganda, it's possible that a few might actually take it seriously. The tables will shift one way or another. Either folks will take personal responsibility and the physical size of our population will decrease, or they will continue with the worthless blame game and the actual population will decrease.

        January 13, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  14. gypsyboomer

    If TMI meas too much (government) intervention then a definate YES.

    January 13, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  15. Mrs. Holbert's 3rd bell

    We think schools measring stdents' BMI at the elementary level could be very helpfl becase often parents do not realize their children are obese and can help them. We do not think this would be as helpfl at the high school level becase parents cannot always control what their teenagers are eating and dong throghout the day, particularly on the weekends or dring lnch at school.

    January 13, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  16. ewpos

    Every day we hear about the obesity epidemic, the need to be thin, how to lose weight and look like a movie star. Almsot never is there any mention of how many people are affected by anorexia or bulemia. Rather than force an impossible body image on the public, why not discuss healthy body images and healthy weights.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • tessa

      YES! Focusing on weight doesn't cause eating disorders, but it does sustain them. Let's all choose to focus on HEALTH rather than weight.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  17. Gabby

    It won't completely solve the problem of childhood obesity, but I'm sure some parents will notice a problem and take action. Most parents probably don't even realize their child is overweight.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  18. Ronald

    I was a heavy child in high school and has since slimmed down. I do remember this fat test that was performed on me in P.E. when they used this tweezer-like device to pinch the fat on your skin and a number would read. It was mortifying to have done this in front of the group. Yes, I think BMI is TMI. I would've felt more comfortable is my coach took me aside and spoke with me one on one

    January 13, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  19. Andrew

    Here's a thought. Let's get rid of tenured teachers and encourage the ones who stay without their safety net to be imaginative and competent, rather than secure and lazy. Perhaps then the teachers could focus on teaching properly instead of wasting time following state developed curriculums for stupid children (the lowest common denominator), opening up time in the school day for physical education and fitness. Teachers' unions and tenure have allowed the entire profession to atophy, and the emphasis on standardized testing has worsened the rot. Where's Gov Christie on a national scale to address the failings of our education system?

    January 13, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  20. Shirley

    It would be great if each child had an annual health care visit with a physician, but the sad truth is that most don't have any health care. The only place they get any health information is at school. If they had health care they could have their vision and hearing and blood pressure and height and weight measured at the doc office. Also, most docs don't know what to say to families about weight and don't address it at all. There are many sectors of the community that need to step up to assist families with this issue, not just the schools. BTW, the BMI is the best measurement promoted by the CDC. Not perfect but what is available to date that is easy to measure.

    January 13, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • 757Matt

      I'm sorry but I must disagree. The BMI is not the best measure. It is only a ratio of weight to height. It doesn't tell you how healthy a person is.

      January 13, 2012 at 9:28 am |
      • Skeptic10787

        Incorrect. An estimated BMI is a ratio between height and weight. A true BMI actually measures the percentage of fat weight vs lean weight.

        January 13, 2012 at 9:43 am |
      • Shirley

        The BMI is not meant to determine a person's health. It is meant to determine if the child needs further assessment by a health care provider and identifies children at risk for other health conditions. This article speaks about a relatively easy first measurement and alert for parents. Denial does not work well for parents or students.

        January 13, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • McBain

      BMI is not even close to the best measurement of fitness.

      When I was an NCAA division I swimmer on a Top 10 team... I was 6'4" 250 lbs with less than 5% body fat.... My BMI put me in the obese range.

      January 13, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • Matt

        Simple BMI is totally unapplicable to athletes and certain body types so this info is at best a heads up, but should not come with any standardized health recomendation since it is not universally valid. It really is not any better than measuring the number the push ups a person can do and basing their general health on that number. Similar to you, my BMI can only barely drop under the obese category if I weighed the same as I did in 6th grade when I was 4 inches shorter and not a collegiate basketball player.

        January 13, 2012 at 9:59 am |
      • RR

        I agree, McBain. A lot of wrestlers run across the same thing. I am fine with the school's involvement in this program but I do have some issues with BMI being used as the standard.

        January 13, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  21. realist

    I have no problem with schools encouraging kids to be healthy. But when my younger child 6 yrs old got a letter saying he was considered obese, I laughed. When he runs around without his shirt on I can see his ribs. If you have any intelligence you know BMI is not very accurate. I am 5'11". weight 203 ilbs. I go to the gym 4 days a week and run about 4 miles 5 days a week. Because I lift weights and have muscular build the BMI says I am obese. What a joke. I do feel we need to make sure kids are eating healthy, mine have never had soda, but relying on a system like this is just dumb.

    January 13, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • 757Matt

      I'm with you on this. Using your BMI as an indication of health is a joke. Using a BMI standard would have labeled Arnold and Lou as "obese" in "Pumping Iron." They would be better off measuring the children and using the US military's body fat calculator. That is more important and more acurate than BMI calculations.

      January 13, 2012 at 9:20 am |
      • alex

        the fattest guy in my unit never failed that test because his triple chins made the neck to waist ratio fall in "normal" ranges when he sucked it in. there is no perfect method. BMI is very easy to calculate, but results are going to be a bell curve, where those out of shape and those in very good shape can both register high. As a result it does take a bit of observational skill to determine if the result is high due to fitness or unfitness. the benefit of being a human is we should use our observational skills to determine what the results actually mean rather than looking at a raw data number.

        January 13, 2012 at 9:49 am |
      • nick

        The military uses the bmi method as well by taping the neck and waist while incorperating height this is also not acurate it is an estimate like myself being 6'6 255 pounds it puts my bmi at 24% putting me over weight what this dosent take into account is body type muscle tone and other variables this is at best a guess the caliper method or a displacement test are the most accurate ways to determine body fat. just a little fyi for you

        January 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  22. El Gordo

    America's schools should teach kids to be healthy whether their fat parents like it or not. Weighing them is a good start. Regular exercise at school is a terrific idea. Then we could teach them other life skills like how to maintain good credit, how to get a bank loan, how to keep a household budget, how to manage debt, how to find a job, how to behave at a job interview, what unions do and whether you should consider joining a union, birth control, how to know when you're pregnant, etc.

    January 13, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • RR

      El Gordo –
      Great comment! I fully agree. I am not sold on BMI as a sole indicator for health, though. Body fat composition would be better, in my opinion, but I agree with the school being involved, and I really agree with teaching kids all the things you mentioned in your comment.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  23. Lol

    Maybe this will encourage Americans to stop being fat, greedy, manipulative people.

    January 13, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  24. ha


    January 13, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  25. mother of four

    This is intrusive and inappropriate. If schools really want to help, they can feed the students better lunches and provide longer recesses. Did you know that on average kids are spending less time in the gym and outside at school than twenty plus years ago? They can teach better nutrition and have health-food parties–meaning that about twice a year they ask parents to bring in fresh fruit, vegetables (with low fat dip), sugar-free spreads (jams, peanut butter, etc), and whole grained snacks and so on, simply for fun.

    January 13, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Skeptic10787

      Partially true but I must disagree. First of all, it isn't intrusive. The article states that 80% of parents don't know their kid is fat. Someone needs to tell them whether they like it or not. Secondly, many states and school districts have tried the healthy eating approach you mention. No more soda, snacks, limited processed foods. Remember what happened? Parents were outraged. They protested, and literally threw their kids junk food through the fences of the school. Parents simply can't be trusted with their kids' health. Finally, recess is being chipped away for two reasons. The first being that they need more time for more classes that are mandated because parents blame the schools for their dumb kids, so now they have to teach kids how to pass tests rather than learn life skills. Secondly, if a kid skins his knee on the playground now-a-days, it's a lawsuit.
      Point being, stop blaming the schools for poor parenting.

      January 13, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • RR

      Sorry, I'm in agreement with Skeptic. NOT intrusive and NOT inappropriate. Years ago they used to require gym classes at junior high levels and above to take showers afterwords (developing good hygiene habits). Many people (possibly yourself included) think this is "inappropriate" as well, which it is not. Its the way it was, and the way it should be today.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  26. dinabq

    The public schools should not be determining if children are too fat or too skinny. That's not their job and not what they are train to do. Isn't that what our health care system is for? No wait, our health care system is only there to make a profit.

    January 13, 2012 at 4:01 am |
  27. Melissa

    The problems is we are one of the only countries in the world where healthy food is more expensive than junk. Candy bar and processed foods should not cost less than fruits and vegetables. In some countries a regular sized snickers is 5 dollars. Do that here and I bet the weight loss will happen on its own.

    January 13, 2012 at 3:28 am |
  28. dee

    The kids and their families already know whether or not they're fat. If the schools want to do something, they can bring back recess, encourage physical activity, and provide healthy meals in the cafeterias. The rest is up to the kid, his/her parents and the pediatrician.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • I Wish

      I wish people realized that they or their children were too fat. I live in GA, and unfortunately many people in this state see themselves as "healthy" when they are grossly overweight. A 5'4" woman, weighing 300 lbs, tells herself she's thick and voluptuous as opposed to seeing the truth of her obesity. This trickles down to the children. Someone who is at a healthy weight for their height and build is often seen as too skinny. It's sad, but true. The perceptions are off, and the home is failing. At least someone somewhere is stepping in to help these children.

      January 13, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  29. Jennifer

    Isn't this the job of the pediatrician? Now state legislators want to burden public schools with the duty of collecting and tracking this data. And for what? To inform the parents? How is a note from a PE teaching more convincing than a face to face talk with your child's doctor or nurse?

    January 13, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  30. Vegetarian

    The schools need to butt out. The country is facing a national health crisis because its food supply is being controlled by a handful of corporations. The solution for the schools to take would be to provide the type of education necessary to produce an informed electorate that would demand reform of our government. They are invading a child's right to privacy by assuming the role that should be taken by a medical doctor.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  31. MamaNellieto4

    Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black? Have they looked at the nutrition and portions schools provide? They are cramming junk with little nutritive substance and plenty of calories, fat, carbs into our children. Our kids are starving for the vitamins and minerals found in simple fruits and vegetables. This starving is effecting metabolism, and with it the mental and physical capabilities of our children. What's the answer? Send your children to school with decent meals? With the number of children in poverty, this is not a feasible option. Since the government took on the responsibility of feeding children two meals a day, they should be responsible about it and be held accountable!!! I'm all for the school having the BMI information if it is gathered anonymously and pooled as data for the purpose of evaluation/development of the nutrition and physical education programs. I'm sure as heck NOT in favor of it being used to single out children for ANY purpose!

    January 12, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • tessa

      Yes! This is so true!

      January 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  32. Gudermann

    The problem is with the BMI itself. It is calculated by dividing the person's mass (in kilograms) by the person's height (in meters) SQUARED (in symbols, m/h^2). A bright eighth grader can see that the arithmetic is faulty: people are three-dimensional: we have height, width and thickness. Therefore, to a first approximation, mass should be proportional to the CUBE of height, not the square. Effectively, the users of the BMI are adding 1+1+1 and coming up with 2. Consequently, as a person gets taller, his BMI goes up solely due to his increasing height. Do the math: most of the big guys in the NBA will be classed as "overweight" or "obese," even though they might be in wonderful shape. The high school senior who is 6 feet tall and muscular will be labeled as overweight or obese. It is appalling to me that health professionals cannot see through it–obviously mathematicians and physicists see the problem immediately. And yes, so have some bright eighth graders.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • mathisfun

      Your math skills are the problem, not the BMI formula. Let's use a base mass of 25kg (m=25) and a height of 1m (h=1, h^2=1). The BMI is 25/1=25. If we increase the height to 1.25m, then h^2=1.5625. The BMI is 25/1.5625=16. If mass is the same, a taller person will have a lower BMI, not a higher one as you claim. Any bright eighth grader can see that. 😉

      You are correct, though, that the BMI is somewhat flawed. As you say, a 6ft, 200lb muscular football player and a 6ft, 200lb kid who never works out will have the same BMI, even though one is obviously in better shape than the other. Body composition obviously needs to be taken into account.

      January 13, 2012 at 3:19 am |
      • Casey

        That's why any properly calculated BMI includes the use of calipers to take into account the amount of muscle vs. fat.

        January 13, 2012 at 7:22 am |
  33. Dan

    This is not a school's job.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  34. ThatsMe

    There are things good about it, and there are things bad about it, just like most things. Im on the fence here. The parents should know their childs fitness level. It shouldnt be up to the schools to tell them, but these days people seem to be aloof about everything, some one needs to tell them whats what.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  35. Scott

    A school's responsibility is to educate the child's mind in relation to academics and physicality. A report card goes home about his or her's academic performance, and I can agree that one about their physical performance can go home as well.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  36. Chazz

    What is the point of doing BMI checks at school as long as schools continue to cut back on gym classes and recess time and still serve junk food and à la carte desserts in the cafeteria? It doesn't matter what you serve or teach at home because the one meal a day eaten with peers is going to be more important in the mind of a child. I also agree with those who state that kids aren't allowed to walk or bike to school; that is the case in our district as well for safety reasons. Parents are told not to bring any sweets for birthday treats or class parties, yet the teachers give out candy as a reward for good behavior or grades and the schools rewards top fundraisers with food treats and forces kids to sell all kinds of unhealthy food to support the school. Schools need to quit blaming the parents exclusively and accept their share in the blame. In my area the kids are on the bus or at school for 8 hours of the day; that is over half of the awake time in a day that my child is out of my direct control and in their hands.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  37. I thought that I was slim

    I also disagree with the BMI index. I am 5'11" I weigh just under 190. Why am I considered too fat?

    January 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Probably......

      Because you are?

      January 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Sam

      If you think 5'11" and 190 is slim, you're probably one of the parents in the article, unless you're heavily muscled. I'm 5'11" and I have a too-big belly at 160.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  38. bob

    Like it or not, our public schools are in the babysitting business. We ALL need to accept this. Then we need to figure out how to improve their performance as babysitters. Babysitters play a role in raising kids. Responsible, caring (and able) parents choose babysitters with this knowledge. Our kids spend a large portion of their day at school in a huge, artificial social system with often not enough adult guidance/supervision. This story about measuring bmi is just another waste of time talking about small symptoms of the real problem. Schools need to accept their responsibility, and be given the appropriate authority, in helping to raise our kids. The way we're doing it now, trying to act like our kids aren't being raised/affected by what goes on at school, isn't working. How did that old saying go? It takes a village to raise a kid... isn't that because the kid spends his time in the whole village, not just cooped up in one hut his whole life? The whole village, including the school, has to take responsibility for the raising/outcome of the child or the results won't be desirable.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • zerored78

      Why should we accept this? Government is supposed to be by the people.

      January 12, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • K

      Unfortunately parents these days have a tendency to dismiss concerns from teachers and pull the "Well I'm the parent and I know what's best. You don't know my child as well as I do." If you want the village to help raise the child then they have to be given a fair voice and must be trusted by the parents to accept the negative as well as the positive.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  39. Mike

    This BMI measurement is a joke anyway. I mean c'mon, people know if they are fat or not. All this does it throw it in the faces of the students who probably already have self-esteem problems as it is. You don't think the parents are going to share the information with them when they get it? I was one of the first to have my BMI measured in an Arkansas school. My mom got my results and was shocked. I was 17 years old, 5'9", and weighed 148 lbs. I was physically fit from playing sports, and the results showed that I was overweight for my frame. Not very accurate in my opinion.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • none

      that actually gives you a bmi of 21.9 which is well within the normal range

      January 13, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  40. Kit

    The bmi conversation is interesting But the report leaves out some important facts it makes for an active blog but facts are important. The Ga test assessment includes a cardio fitness measure based on vo2 max. You need ht and wt to get this .. It figures cardio vascular fitness ..The fitness assessment is not about is about health related fitness a physical education curriculum component Google fitness gram for facts

    January 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  41. TerriW

    I don't think weighing children and measuring their BMI will help and would take away yet more time in PE that could be used having the students moving. I believe we need to make daily PE mandatory in grades K-12. Most obese/overweight children have obese/overweight parents who are inactive. I am a PE teacher and I believe that we need to have some type of program that also gives parents opportunities to learn ways to be active WITH their children.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  42. mickey1313

    not the right of the school or the state, the government needs to but the f out of private life.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • RR

      Okay then, YOU pay for these kids' health costs when they develop diabetes and heart problems, because I don't want to.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  43. Face

    Kids today are plump and obese...most of them. By the time they are in high school, most girls are simply Fat... and they show off their guts with their gut rings. Disgusting youth.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • GOP4Ever

      Spot on. QFT

      January 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • mother of four

      Most is a very big word. In this case it's highly inaccurate. Yes, there are more overweight children than there were twenty plus years ago, but most kids are not overweight. 16 to 33 percent means that better than 67% are not. We have a problem (1 in 3 kids), there's no question about that, but let's not awfulize it.

      January 13, 2012 at 6:45 am |
  44. zerored78

    This is way, way overreaching the responsibility of state schools. Teach these kids knowledge and let their parents worry about the rest.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Casey

      The problem is that many parents are becoming less and less involved with their children.
      I'm not saying that the government needs to force everyone on a scale and come up with some badly calculated BMI that really means nothing for many people. The idea of the government controlling us is scary; we're supposed to control them. However, I DO feel that schools need to become more active in the physical and nutritional education of the kids and teens going through the system.

      January 13, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  45. Casey

    Weighing and measuring BMI isn't a solution to anything. It's a means of providing a baseline to work from and to show progress over long term.

    What the students need is healthier food in the cafeteria and physical fitness programs in schools dedicated less to sitting on the sidelines of a basketball court and more to getting kids active and encouraging them to stay active.

    January 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  46. QT

    I do not think it is an invasion of privacy nor do I believe this is the solution to end childhood obesity. As a young professional in the recreation business, I must admit we can only do so much. The kids at my recreation center are very active because I keep them that way. However where is the balance when they leave to go home and consume whatever they want when they want?! Its going to take a village to raise these children and to keep them fit, not just the poorly designed school systems in America.

    January 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Jason

      Ditto, there's only so much you can do. right on QT.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  47. jude

    instead of worrying on BMI shouldnt we be worrying about getting kids active. some people have natural builds that are heavier than others whether theyre a bit fat or muscular. we have to be getting our kids active and having fun at it too.

    January 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • QT


      January 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  48. macphile

    How is this different from all the head lice checks and scoliosis checks they've had for years? Wouldn't those be the parents' responsibility, too?

    January 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Jon

      Head lice is contagious, right? I could see where schools would definitely want to screen with that. I see your point on scoliosis though. No risk to other students, so it should really be the responsibility of the parent to check for that.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  49. J Marshall

    It is ridiculous to have this done by the school. Instead of wasting everyone's time why not put more money into gym classes. The way they are testing BMI is 100% by any medical standards as there are additional caliper tests that must be done to calculate BMI. THe weight to height BMI chart is a joke and has to do with average builds and average everything. Try some standards for education before trying standards for fitness.

    January 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  50. JoePub

    This is not invasion of privacy. They weighed kids, checked for lice, physicals, etc. when I went to school.

    January 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • RR

      Joe Pub, you're right on. Today there would probably be an uproar over that, too!

      January 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  51. larry5

    Maybe you should just send your kids to school and then go visit them every now and then.

    January 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  52. JLF

    This is an intrusion. I absolutely would not want my kids weighed at school. Mind you, my kids are very slim. This to me is similar to the ridiculous situation of my kid being subjected to an eye exam at school where she is expected to take off her glasses. Then I get a note home saying she needs to be examined by an eye doctor because she failed the eye test. Of course she did. She had to take off her glasses. She's been under the care of a pediatric opthamologist since she was 4 months old. I go through this rigamorole every year. Its obvious ;she's receiving care, yet every year I have to prove that she's had an exam. I resent the intrusion. I also worry about eating disorders way more than that my kids getting fat. No way would I want them weighed anywhere but the doctor's office.

    January 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • QT

      I definitely see your concerns but not all parents are going to be responsible for you and I and take their childrens' health concerns into their own hands. Many do not care. I teach child aerobics for one hour every evening in my recreation center and sometimes watch as the parents bring their children chicken nuggets to snack on afterwards.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • zerored78

        That's none of our business what their parents do.

        January 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  53. Dany

    How does this make sense? You can't build an solid education of healthy living and eating if the kid never knows how much they weigh.

    January 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Catherine Wade

      I disagree. I'm 5'9", female, pear shaped, and I look my best at around 175-180 lbs. That's considered "overweight" and at the very least, on the EXTREME end of average. My best friend is 5'11 and looks her best at 145-150. We have completely different bodies. Weight is a good starting point, but the bottom line is, if you're eating healthy and getting enough exercise, you don't need to worry about how much you weigh. If you're obese and doing both of those things, you'll know without ever knowing how many lbs you are.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  54. julie

    I don't care to have a school nurse tell me what my doctor tells me about my kid. I get why the schools are doing it but, I think its an invasion of my privacy. One I like to be present when my child is being examined by anyone. Because the school trust them does not mean I trust the nurse. That's why I don't like it.

    January 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Ashley

      You are absolutely right! This would be a great opportunity for disaster. This should be something that the parent is REQUIRED to sign off on, BEFORE the child is seen 'privately.' The government is worried about their physical health, what about their mental health?

      If the schools are required to do this, they should have the parent there. OH! Wait! that sounds like a doctor's appointment. But they aren't doctors. Isn't it a crime to diagnose a person without a medical degree?

      January 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • Kb

        To diagnose is to identify the nature or cause of something. They're not diagnosing, they're recording information and regurgitating it to the parents. I'm not here to argue with you, but I will point out that you're making yourself sound naive about the situation. No, it shouldn't be okay for them to take that information and I'm sure it'll receive the flack from the public.

        January 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • MoreFitUSA

      You are dumb. Obviously what children's pediatricians are telling parents isn't registering. Often times, the parent lives an extremely unhealthy life style themselves. A little public shame for something that is easily remedied by a well balanced diet and "Play 60 a day" will help these kids in the long run. Giving an individuals BMI is non-intrusive and can actually be done without removing clothing. It's not rocket science, kids should know when they are NOT HEALTHY and if they have parents that constantly tell them they are "perfect in every way" they'll never get a clue. Shut up, this is good for a country that is quickly sliding down into obesity. 1 in 3 americans is medically obese...let's stop this trend and it starts with kids.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
      • janelled

        while I agree that this country is rapidly becoming obese, we are also rapidly becoming a country of it's not my fault, I bear no responsibility, someone else must take care of me mentality. The latter is even more dangerous than the former.

        January 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
      • QT

        I couldn't have said this any better 🙂

        January 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
      • zerored78

        Stop trying to help people against their own will. It's not right.

        January 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
      • mother of four

        If what the pediatrician is saying to parents isn't registering, why do you think the school's information would make any difference? The pediatrician's office is private, with only the child, the parent, the doctor and the nurse being aware of the outcome. The parent takes the child to the doctor and consents to the exam.

        The school's approach is public (in front of other students with lots of school staff aware of the outcome) and done without the parent's consent. This is not acceptable in any form.

        If the schools want to help, then they can provide "Play 60" and provide healthy lunches without the exam. Unfortunately the schools are only being required to provide the exam, but not the rest of the package.

        Not dumb. Intrusive and a waste of the time and resources of an already overtaxed school system.

        January 13, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Crystal

      A lot of parents depend on fast food to feed their children from the day their born instead of finding a time slot somewhere to cook healthy meal and store them. The inital fault is on the parents. Second the schools seriously need to revamp their lunch menus because they are disgusting and unhealthy. When the schools learn the correct ways of feed our kids then they can lecture us. Another problem is, there are some, not all, parents who treat schools as a dumping ground for their kids to be raised and feed. But until parents get fully involved in the health of their kids and what they feed them and the schools feed them, all they need to do is look in the mirror for blame.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
      • P Brown

        First people complain about pressure from people like Michelle Obama to make healthy food more affordable, and to improve school lunches. "I DESERVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT MY CHILD EATS! NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHAT TO FEED MY CHILD!" Then we complain about how our kids are soooo fat because lunches provided by the school are soooo unhealthy? Here's a thought. MAKE YOUR CHILD'S LUNCH. My mom (who was a single parent) did it for us everyday until we were old enough to make our own everyday.
        Here's more food for thought: There are 168 hours in a week (24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week). Generously, a child spends 45 hours at school every week. That's 9 hours a day 5 days a week. Assuming a child sleeps 8 hours a night, there's 56 hours a week they're also not eating or in school. That means there's still 67 remaining hours in a week in which the child is under the parent's care and control – including food choices, exercise, schoolwork and activities. Children spend more time AT HOME with their PARENTS than they do at school. We keep putting blame on the "school system" for failing our children, when really we as adults, parents and surrounding society are the ones failing them.
        And fwiw, growing up we had to do the President's physical fitness test, get weighed, get our eyes and ears tested and get checked for scoliosis. It wasn't traumatic, it wasn't detrimental, it didn't make me feel like less of a person. And quite frankly, I'm tired of the molly coddling we're doing with kids in regards to their weight. No, being overweight (and I'm not talking just 5 lbs) doesn't make you a bad person but its not GOOD for you either. We need to stop pretending that it is for the sake of the kids we're raising. There are ways to positively promote healthy habits without sending kids down the path of eating disorders, and we need to start exploring those. Lets stop putting our kids at a disadvantage and pretending there ISN'T a problem!

        January 13, 2012 at 7:36 am |
      • RR

        PBrown, you nailed it!

        January 13, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  55. gary

    Kid's health comes before "political correctness" ... or at least it should. Fat kids need help to be healthy adults. Schools should honor their obligation to help kids.

    January 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  56. BR

    [FACEPALM] Way to go to extreme's, Georgia. How about lawmakers and teachers have theirs done first and see where they stand.

    The BMI is a completely unrealistic 'tool' created by insurance companies to establish unrealistic coverage expectations. Not to mention the humiliation for kids. Just like an asanine, beaurocratic system to resort to a widely discredited test to absolve them of actually doing something to address the problem.

    January 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  57. Angry Mother

    I totally disagree with schools measuring BMI. My 11 year old daughter had hers done last year. She was 5'5" and 110 lbs and I got a report saying she is borderline obese. Let me just say that she is a competetive cheerleader and spends a minimum 3 hours per day 6 days a week at the gym practicing and is solid muscle (and granted very tall for her age). When I called the school to complain that there is no way she is border line obese, they said oops, we should have used the adult calculator with her because she is so tall. OOPS?? She was hysterical thinking she is obese and it took me a very long time to convince her that she is not nor at risk as long as she contines to eat healthy and exercise!

    January 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • blah9999

      Calm down. Don't have a hissy fit. A lot of kids are fat now a days. We need programs like this to help.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
      • Angry Mother

        I agree that something has to be done because there are overweight kids. However, the school should be responsible enough to report accurate data. This paper was not mailed to me, it was sent home with my daughter. When you have impressionable girls that worry about their weight and looks constantly, the school should be more responsible. Either check your data or mail the papers home instead of letting children read them without the guidance of their parent!

        January 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • BR

        This isn't a's a copout and an unrealistic expectation. A program would actually take steps to get kids moving to accomplish something.

        An average fit adult will invariably be categorized as overweight or obese with this test. It takes nothing but simple geometry into account and the numbers it uses as standards are extremely unrealistic.

        January 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Fact

      Either way that is an incorrect calculation. A 5'5" child at 110 would be a BMI of 18.3.

      Check your math before chiming in next time, it gives me the impression you made the post up.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      I'm sorry that you and your daughter met with this confusion. There is only one BMI (for children over 2 years and adults). There is a difference in interpretation between children and adults.

      Based on your stats, your daughter's BMI is 18.3. On the adult scale, this would be UNDERWEIGHT (underweight 30). However, for children they don't use the same parameters. Instead, they use BMI percentiles. On that note, your daughter is in the 53% according to the CDC. This is in the normal range.

      I'm not sure who gave you information (correct or incorrect) or how you've chosen to interpret it. Your overall assessment that your daughter isn't obese is correct as supported by her BMI would support that.

      I do wish that people (parents, schools, the public) would educate themselves before becoming paniced. The CDC has a great website that discusses and calculates BMI for children, teens, and adults.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • What?

      You are just stupid or lying.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  58. mmp

    Why don't the states spend money on better p/e classes and all-inclusive sports programs that don't require participants to be part of expensive club programs. After school sports opportunities will do more good. They are phasing out/cutting back on school sports programs all over. Instead we should be increasing these programs and adding intramural sports of all kind to get kids active. Sending home a piece of paper with BMI information on it will accomplish nothing. Just another waste of tax dollars. Put those dollars to work through participatory activities.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      Do you really think that you use this money to actually fund a week's worth of activities? This is an attempt at a cheap fix for a complex problem.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • mmp

        It doesn't "fix" anything.

        January 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • Kirstyloo

        It does identify it as studies indicate that 59% of parents of overweight children do not recognize it. You can't attempt to solve a problem if you don't know it is there.

        January 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
      • mmp

        We also "know" that kids should get 60 minutes of exercise everyday.

        January 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  59. ella jay

    right idea, wrong way. the answer is there right in front of you: recesses and Physical Education have been cut back? cut them back ON. this is way more important, and also a positive way to impact the situation instead of being judgmental bystanders, which is what this boils down to.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  60. nwatcher

    I saw this coming as soon as schools started in the contraception business (only they don't provide this information to the parents) – now they want to track your child's weight (at least they provide that info to parents). People need to decide if they want to be the authority in raising their child or if they are willing to let the rest of the village raise their child. In the not to distant future (like yesterday already), you will not have a say in the upbringing of your own children and you will be forced to pay to raise everyone elses children.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • janelle

      Unfortunately, there at too many parents that are more than happy to let someone else raise their kids, that's a big part of the childhood obesity problem in the first place.

      Don't get me wrong, I don't think schools have any business doing madatory BMI tests, just think it's an ongoing result of the rapidly rising culture of not bearing any form of personal responsibility whatsoever, for yourself or your family.

      If the government wants to be everyone's parent, then it's about time the government start acting like a real parent. That means start laying down the law and making and enforcing some rules. For example, if you expect the government to provide you with food, then you eat what the goverment says you get to eat, not whatever you feel like. If you expect the goverment to provide you with health care, then you have to be healthy, and have a limited amount of time to get there, or your cut off. If you expect the government to pay your living expenses, then the government gets to decide how you live your life and what you can and cannot spend your money on. If you don't like it, go out and get a job and provide for yourself. You can only have true freedom and choice when you are responsible for providing for yourself. Then you can do whatever you want, eat what you want, wear what you want, etc. You, know, like a real parent handles their children.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  61. G

    BMI is outdated, archaic and should not be used in these modern times. It also should not be used to gauge health of an individual, regardless of age. The creation of the BMI formula was never intended to discern a person's health or whether a person was obese or not. You would think that in the 2000's, we wouldn't still be using something that is inaccurate from the 1880's.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  62. rachel

    I hate using BMI to measure obesity. My daughter is categorized as obese when she is a super athlete and is simply very solid/muscular. Her doctor says considering her physical fitness, she is not obese, but her school says otherwise....hmmmmmmm....I wonder who's right...NOT

    January 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • jen

      rachel – the doctor said 'considering her physical fitness' – sounds more like she is at least pretty overweight, but active. Which is better than not, but it's not like she's a healthy weight being called obese.

      I think far too many people use the 'BMI is outdated' argument to make themselves feel better about having a poor one.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • Fred Evil

        Yeah, SOME do, but to be honest, BMI is a VERY basic ratio, and takes very little into account regarding variations in physical stature/structure.

        January 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
      • rachel

        No, he explained to me that muscle weighs more than fat and she is solid muscle. BMI is a poor indicator for athletes because of that fact.

        January 13, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  63. Kimo

    Schools now doing what traditionally would be the healthcare system's responsibility. What's wrong with this picture?

    January 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Nate

      I think you mean the *parent's responsibility

      January 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      Data suggest that many parents don't recognize the problem. In addition, medical professionals often have a hard time addressing this topic due to limited time and other more pressing medical issues to discuss. Yes, the child's doctor is a great place to start...and I'm wondering how many of these notes home does just that.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  64. georgia mama

    Georgia schools, Marietta schools, Cobb county schools, and all Metro Atlanta Schools, would be better off using their resources to actually better educate students, in math, science, reading, writing, and social studies.
    Do you know how many school Principals are obese or overweight in Georgia? How about the teachers and other school staff? The kids are going to get slammed for being overweight by their own obese or overweight school principals, nurses and teachers. What about the small minority of kids who fall into to the category of being overweight due to legitimate disorders or medical problems. Principals, teachers, P.E. coaches, and nurses DO NOT HAVE MEDICAL DEGREES. If I were a parent of a child with let's say Down Syndrome and the child was overweight due to their disorder, and the school insisted on weighing and telling my child he or she was overweight I'd be calling lawyers fast and furious!

    January 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • guest

      Call a lawyer. That's ridiculous.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • RR

      That's what the world needs – more hysterical, overreacting parents like you.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  65. laura

    Maybe the parents of obese kids should educate themselves on what they eat and are feeding their kids. The idea that one healthy meal a day at school is saving them is crazy. Parents need to step up and be parents and educate themsleves and their kids. It is not the governments job, but I do agree we will all pay for it eventually. As these obese kids turn into obese adults, health problems will grow along with their health care needs. BMI is not the solution.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Earl

      Bring back Jamie Oliver's 'Food Revolution'!

      January 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  66. Physical China Syndrome

    Body Mass Index = Three Mile Island.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  67. kj1jk

    My problem with this is that parents who care about BMI, healthy weight and activity level can probably a) already tell based on day-to-day visual assessment if their child is a reasonable weight and would b) take them to the doctor for periodic check-ups and then c) listen if the doctor suggested a condition/weight needed monitoring. Parents who do none of the above probably aren't going to read their kids report card for BMI or weight and then really care if their child is noted to have a possibly unhealthy BMI.

    So based on my presumption of limited benefit, my fear is that the act of being weighed and then having stats sent home may cause different problems for some young girls. Many young girls fall into perils of eating disorders and unhealthy dieting. I could not tell you what my weight was at any point during my childhood because I didn't care and it wasn't really a topic – I was active and healthy and thin, but if somebody had been weighing me I would have naturally wondered what the number was and potentially paid too much attention. I fear that it could cause young, currently healthy, girls to start unhealthy habits with limited benefit to those that are overweight.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • likecnn6280

      Thank you for posting something well thought out and intelligent!

      January 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  68. Tom

    For the past several years we have gotten letters from our school about our son. He is 16, about 5'-10" and 170+ lbs. He is an ice hockey goalie, plays on a high level travel team, and has been playing for many years. I have seen him leg press and squat well over double his body weight and barely break a sweat doing it. These measures simply are not realistic for many people, and there is far too much emphasis put on them. It makes me laugh that the same school district that sends these letters has also been gradually cutting their PE classes.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Earl

      BMI results ARE realistic for most people. They are not realistic for some athletes who are heavily muscled – perhaps like your son.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Nate

        You don't have to be heavily muscled for it to be useless – just have any muscle at all.

        BMI is an awful way to measure one's health.

        January 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  69. s
    this sums up fairly well the plethora of reading material i've been thru, yay for a wikipedia for once. it seems that BMI is not, in fact, the best, or even a good, indicator of obesity or future health risk due to obesity, anyone who takes the time to look into it can see why. the simple fact is this: adults know when they are overweight,they can look at their kids and see if THEY are overweight, they don't need to be TOLD by anyone that they are overweight. what purpose does this serve? are we not already inundated on a daily basis with information about how fat we and our kids all are, we need the government to waste more $$ on yet another source of info? decades worth of telling the general public that we are too fat has resulted in an "obesity epidemic", does anyone else see this irony?

    January 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      The facts don't support that overweight and obese parents are able to identify it in their children (citation Obesity Research (2003) 11, 1362–1368; doi: 10.1038/oby.2003.184).

      This paper notes that about 50% of normal children's parents are able to assess their child's weight. In contrast , only about 10% of parents of overweight children accurately assessed their child's weight. T

      January 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  70. devs

    As a physician, I see this all the time. When I tell them they are overweight or they have weight issue ( these includes lots of athlets ) , they get upset or don't accept and argue with me just like most of the people here, that they have all muscle and no fat. Fortunately , in my practice we have very good body fat analyser and I must say, hardly anyone of those peoples, BMI is high does not have more fat. In short, BMI is very good indicator in regards to cheking for the Obesity/Overweight. It 's better to be on the thinner side than on overweight side. Unfortunately, we have become society than even any good thing is coming out of government, there are so many angry people to protest it. We need to realised as a nation as a society , we are obese nation. If we don't do something collectively , we will be heading more towards path of destruction.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • s

      what is this, i don't even...

      January 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Ktiara

      Thanks for this post, doctor! I am a muscular person who is active, and I am a low-normal weight according to the BMI indicators. Muscle alone will not normally put someone over the BMI calculation. It's funny that with so many people ailing from obesity in this country, that people are quibbling with BMI rather than trying to support any program that attempts to address the problem.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Ashley

      That's funny, "Doctor". One would imagine that with the years, and years of school that you HAD to have gone through, you would have learn proper grammar and well, at least be able to make a complete sentence that makes sense.

      "Unfortunately, we have become society than even any good thing is coming out of government, there are so many angry people to protest it. We need to realised as a nation as a society , we are obese nation. If we don't do something collectively , we will be heading more towards path of destruction."

      This statement makes me find it very difficult to believe you. I work in a hospital, even those doctors who do not speak English as a first language do not have such a difficult time as you seem to have.

      As for this topic, I agree that if the government thinks there is a problem, they should require PE through all four years in highschool again. Only a couple of states still have this as a requirement, and even they are begining to let it slip. After school activities are not always the way to fix the problem, because many children are faced with educational afterschool activity vs athletic afterschool activity. Also, as an after school activity it is voluntary, and families are required to pay for enrollment. If you want to start something, make it durring school hours. If it doesn't fit, make school last longer.

      If I had been weighed in highschool and the teachers had to keep my weight a secret from me, I would definately have had a problem. I wasn't part of any afterschool programs, not because I didn't want to be, but because I wasn't allowed to be. I wasn't allowed to sign up for anything that cost money, including Prom. And I know there are other families out there in similarly poor conditions, this is why they should bring back PE and make it mandatory.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
      • Kirstyloo

        I hated PE, but I'm glad that I had it everyday through 10th grade, and 50% of the days for my last 2 years. The thing is that this costs money also...and people don't seem to want to pay for it. Personally, I think that is a shame. A good well-rounded education costs money. I would put PE in as part of a student's education.

        January 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • likecnn6280

      You are clearly not a physician. You have very poor grammar and spelling, to the point that it is simply not believable that you were ever accepted into any medical school (at least not in the United States). As far as I'm concerned, the fact that you feel the need to lie about your profession discredits anything else you might have to say.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  71. Bill

    Do you honestly think the parents of these kids care? IF they did, the kid would already be on diet! Schools need to be concentrated on teaching (which right now is questionable!). If these parents need help, let them go to their church or to a clinic! These people decide to have kids, but then expect the rest of society to take care of them!

    January 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  72. PittAnatomy

    BMI is a poor indicator. Body fat%/Muscle ratios are statistically and logically more accurate. I think this would be a better measure, and certainly wouldn't really cost more for schools top use. Does anyone remember doing the presidential fitness tests in grade school? Those could be used as a measure of endurance. Scores from those could be sent to parents instead of this BMI businness to let them know their child's level of endurance and how much improvement is needed.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • SchoolNurse

      The state of TN requires BMI, blood pressure, vision, hearing and scoliosis (6th gd) every 2 yrs. This allows the parent to track their children's progress as they grow and allows early reconigtion of health problems. We have found hypertension in 2nd grade, children that are much below ht/wt but responded well to growth hormones. This information is shared with the parent, it's up to them if they share it with their child.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
      • PittAnatomy

        I am glad you check for hypertension. My argument was not about checking for the other things you mentioned. Read the post. You should check body fat%/and muscle ratios instead of BMI. I know you are a nurse and you have a good knowledge of general health, but BMI is archaic. We don't use it in our university health center, which is run by UPMC.

        January 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  73. bob

    Big deal our school took our hight and weight to 2x a year, and that was the early 80's. Get over it and git the fatty kids some salad and exersize.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Rebecca

      Maybe schools should be more concerned with teaching their students how to spell.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  74. Chris

    Make the school year and school day longer, have the kids get their education and their PE... OH WAIT... Teacher's unions, they can't work more than 180 days a year... Maybe being a teacher should be a full time job...And for those teacher's getting gasteric bypass ( I know a few) make them have to get that surgery in the summer not take 4-6 weeks off during the school year ... This is an elective surgery not a medical emergency.... Kids are getting fatter, parents are getting lazier and everyone is looking for someone to blame... Go find the closest mirror look in it and who you see is to blame....

    January 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Fern135

      There are no unions on Georgia. People who blame the teachers' unions refuse to understand that many states in the south are not unionized.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • Kirstyloo

        Ah...they have no unions. I guess that promotes a strong K-12 education and explains why so many southern states are known for their wonderful public educations.

        January 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  75. Drowlord

    I guess measuring and reporting a problem is an important first step in solving a problem. But... I'm guessing that this program is going to stop after that, since a complete solution is expensive. Maybe reporting BMI to parents will be enough to make a positive change in the lives of some people. However, I'd rather see a whole-hearted effort to fix the problem. This looks like another half-measure that will make kids feel ugly. If we're not willing to follow this through to its conclusion right now, maybe we shouldn't start. I think this is just going to burn money to humiliate kids.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  76. BMInot

    I am 6'1" at 210 pounds. I have a 32"waist and 18" biceps. Using the BMI gage I am obese. The BMI index is a bad indicator. It was estabished in Europe where people are generally smaller (sorry) and it does not take muscle into account. You need to use a tape measure in addition to a scale. Train PE teaches to correctly take these measurements.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Babs

      Also it would be a good way to teach the kids how exercises not only just change their appearances but teach them that all people are shaped differently even the thin ones. Many girls have wider hips than some, some boys have broader shoulders, some have more muscle mass and some don't. It would give the kids the exposure to different body types and to teach them that regardless of their shape, it is about being healthy

      January 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Cranky

      BMI should be reasonably usable as a screening tool at school age, despite its known defects when applied to muscular adults. There aren't many muscular kids at school age, and the phys. ed. teachers very likely already know who they are and work closely with them. The only really good tests (dunk tank weighing, Bod Pod) are impractical for mass screening. Body impedance weighing is useful for tracking trends in a given individual over time, but not very good for screening under poorly controlled conditions. Skin fold caliper measurements very likely will be too variable for a semi-trained operator across a broad population.

      For overall good results, though, you need phys. ed. teachers who are committed to trying to motivate, by appropriate means, poorer-condition students to improve their condition. Appropriate means do not include scorn, humiliation, and stigma. Most of my phys. ed. teachers (1960s) had military drill instructor mentality, and created misery.

      I had two, however, who were enlightened and from whom I learned enduring lessons that I was able to recall and apply in later life.

      Add to that the military induction-style screening physicals, where some sadist would look into your mouth, put you on the scale, ram his fingers sharply up your scrotum, say "COUGH, COUGH", then yell your name, weight, height, and "OBESITY, HERNIA, MALOCCLUSION, NEXT" to someone with a clipboard.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  77. dakota2000

    Remember when kids used to appear on Milk cartons? That's when mom's stop letting their kids outside to play.
    When I was young, my mom would not let me stay in the house. She would say "go outside an play" and I would be out until dark running around doing stuff.

    If the government would just stay out of kids lives they would naturally be healthy. Kids like to move. But we have scared mom's so much that they are afraid to tell their 6 yo go outside and play but be back by diner...

    It just would not happen today.

    The older I get the more I think that government is the problem, not the solution... for one simple reason: There is no "one-size fits all" policies that work when it comes to human beings.... the soviets found that out and paid a dear price.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • BAM

      Another ridiculously desperate reach of a claim to blame the government for something with no empirical validating evidence.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  78. Rufoscoe

    Wrong and too late. This is the wrong way to combat obesity – it's placing responsibility where it should not be, it's adding administrative overhead, it's open for abuse (someone somewhere is going to sue), it does not address the root causes, it addresses the symptoms. Having schools take responsibility for monitoring body weight of teenagers is an ill advised strategy, it is a point solution that comes too late in an individuals life.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  79. Mark

    right so, recess is now 15min, school lunches aren't healthy, HFCS is subsidized by our govt, and we're having a debate about who should be "responsible" for kids weight? The deck has been stacked against working families by everyone looking to now render blame and seek solutions. This isn't hard. Recess should be an hour. Gym class should involve sports and exercise every time, school lunches should look like we care, and HFCS should no longer be made cheaper than it is by our govt.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Gerald

      Well said and I agree 100%.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Jake

      How about you be a better parent, and not expect a school system to raise your kids for you? How about you make your kids get off the couch and go outside? It's your job to parent your children, not other's. You are to blame for your children's weight, and no one else.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
      • Mark

        Jake – I do not disagree with your sentiment. But it's a shame that you can't see us both being right. I think working families are under more strain. I think the things I mentioned as changing have exacerbated the problem of sedentary kids. I think the 8+ hours that school has our kids should at least be able to improve in these areas (recess, lunch, and gym). But, I think HFCS subsidies are a large part of the problem. Again, I don't disagree with you but, I also don't think it helps to say there's a singular solution. Schools have a role to play, just like parents. I just think enough factors have changed outside the home to make this problem worse than it should be.

        January 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
      • Melanie

        Parents should absolutely take the ultimate responsibility for their children but it is not unreasonable to request that the schools make good decisions for our children while our children are in their care. Parents should model healthy eating habits and encourage their kids to get up off the sofa and be active with them. But the school has these kids from 8am to 2pm – that's 6 hours. They need to provide healthy meals and encourage exercise too.

        January 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Hey You

      HFCS production does not get any government subsidies. Sugar production does get price support, that is why HFCS is less expensive.
      HFCS is no different than suger in the body, so if all the HFCS was replaced by sugar, we would be in the same boat as we are now.
      The problem is people generally consume more calories now than they did 30 years ago, therefore we weigh more. Carbohydrates are cheap, protein is expensive – do the math.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • Mark

        HeyYou – sorry, HFCS does get subsidies via the corn it's made from. And there is a clear linkage between the increased use in HFCS and obesity in this country. But, again, not the entire problem, just a factor. I think a large one but.. ok. We disagree. I think we have generations who grew up living a certain way, eating a certain way, and I dont think that's changed.. what changed was how that food is made and distributed. The floor moved, we didn't.

        January 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • janelle

        I completely agree on the fact that we consume more calories, and just plain eat more and larger portions, etc than we did 30 years ago. I'm not convinced on the "it's cheaper to eat junk than healthy argument". I hear that arguement so many times from people, complaining about the price of healthy food. But you know what, junk food isn't cheap either, and if you didn't have 5 cases of soda and 6 bags of potato chips in your shopping cart, you could afford leaner cuts of meat and fresh fruits and vegetables. But, that means you'd actually have to cook and not just throw some chips and soda on the table for dinner. It's a choice. As with all choices, there are consequences, good and bad.

        January 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Mo5

      As a mom of 5, I see all the different rages of height/weight in my kids and they're all as active as they can be. In school – elementary - they get 3 – 30 minute recesses a day. Yes that totals to an hour and 30 minutes a day, but I remember as a kid, we got at least 4 or 5 recesses, but then again the school day was longer then too. But once they get to middle school – there's no more recess and PE is a required class, but it's only 45 minutes long and not even every single day of the week – where my middle schooler goes – it's 3 times a week! High School – they only have to complete 2 years of PE, that's it! and a semester of health to graduate! It's not enough! And at home, I do not let my kids just lounge around on the couch, we have the Kinect with sports games and dance games and it gets used DAILY (after homework is done). I do not let my kids have junk food that often, they'll get it from home maybe twice a month if that. The schools are doing what they can to assist, but it really does come down to the parents actually providing GOOD HEALTHY food to the kids. If you don't want your kids eating school lunch, provide lunches for them!

      January 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
      • Mo5

        ranges not rages...

        January 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  80. Rbnlegnd101

    My only problem with this is that BMI is only useful as a screening tool, it is not a measure of health or even appropriate weight. If they apply the BMI charts to the high school football team, 90% of the team will be overweight or worse, according to BMI. Other kids who can't do a single situp will be just fine. We need to get kids back into gym classes where they sweat, and we need to encourage them to actually compete in physical ways. The other side of that problem being our incredibly unhealthy, government subsidized and approved food supply.

    I will offend the left and the right. Our kids need a gym class where they exercise, sweat, win and lose, and they need a tough gym teacher yelling at them to move their backsides. And our kids need food that is actually healthy, which means oversight, regulations, and fewer subsidies for the corn growers. No, high fructose corn syrup is not "sugar", and what's more, we don't need it added to our milk and bread.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • dakota2000

      What! You want our kids to LOSE! All kids are winners what ever they do! Everyone gets a participation award. Losing is just a form of bullying! A BMI of 30 is OK you are still overweight! We will just change the sizing on clothes so that what was once a "Large" is now a "Medium" (I am being sarcastic).

      Losing cqn be more important than winning. Winning teaches you nothing. Losing teaches you to pick yourself up and try again. That is what american's used to be made up.

      I teach young Adults and they start whining when they don't get an "A." Awards, and "A" should be hard to obtain. It would make them worth something.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  81. LauraJ

    Instead of tracking weight and BMI, mandate more PE classes, every day, every year.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • dakota2000

      yeh, but then kids would have to take showers. Here in Arizona, kids just will not shower after gym class. Its weird.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • Mo5

        Agree – they don't give kids enough time to shower/change after PE.

        January 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • janelle

        Just wait, the next thing schools will mandate is the at kids have to shower at school because their parents aren't making sure they showering at home. Being unclean is unhealthy and can spread sickness, so the schools will soon decide they need to monitor that too.

        January 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Futbol Czarina

      Rather than requiring more P.E. classes, which I find to be an abject waste of time, require parents to safely monitor their children's health. This means less TV time, more fruits and veggies, and a lot less blaming the school districts for not doing the parents' job!
      I have five children, three of whom are elite athletes. I didn't wait for the schools to magically send my kiddos outside in kindergarten. I forced them to play outside as toddlers, preschoolers, and well into high school! They have a lot of energy because they eat well, exercise extensively, and sleep (almost) enough.
      Parents, be responsible for your kids. It's not the state's job to do so. If, however, you don't take full responsibility for raising healthy, law abiding citizens, your fellow citizens can willingly do it for you.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  82. Linda

    My son, who's an athlete and in great physical condition (and in no way fat), came home with a report saying that he was obese. They based this on his weight and height only. Since muscle weighs more that fat, and this kid is all muscle, he fell into the obese category. I think that if they are going to to obesity checks on the kids, they need to do it in a more accurate way.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • LauraJ

      Yes, but that would require and expensive doctor, which they cannot afford. Its a silly program and not an answer to the problem.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Rbnlegnd101

      That's the flaw with BMI.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • dakota2000

      There are relatively inexpensive instruments for measuring body fat. My son is an athlete too. We measured his body fat and it was about 5 % but he was approaching the obese category. He works out for hours each day.

      BMI is irrelevant for kids.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • ash

      There's no flaw with BMI. As with too much fat, too much muscle mass can put a tremendous strain on the heart. Google the topicyourself and do the research if you don't believe it.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • ESLrocks

      I teach HS Health classes. We measure height and weight and BMI with our students, but then we also tell them that obesity occurs when the waist measurement in women exceeds 35 inches; and with men it is 40 inches. This takes care of those hefty football players whose muscular bulk puts them in the obese range when their waist is only 32". The waist tells all.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      Depending on the age of the might want to ask if all of that muscle is due to drugs (anabolic androgenic steroids /testosterone injections). Many of the very bulky boys/athletes are doing them. Maybe there needs to still be a conversation. According to the Monitoring the Future Survey by The University of Michigan, in 2006, 2.7% of high school seniors reported they had tried steroids at least once. I'll bet it is even higher in my area.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  83. Lee

    In most cases, an overweight child is the product of overweight parents. The problem lies with parents, but once again, schools get a legilative mandate to fix society's problems. When will we figure out, you can't fix laziness or poor decisions through legislative mandates handed down to schools.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  84. Tommy

    I think the educrats should focus their energy on the foods the cafeterias serve. Schools should be reinforcing healthy eating habits and setting a good example with the lunch choices.

    There is no need to put an obese or nearly obese chld on a scale; anyone can identify these children at a glance.

    As for the data to be sent home, there are too many indifferent children and parents in the equation for that to make a difference.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • LauraJ

      Exactly! However, courtesy of our Congress, which says they are not for sale for lobby money, PIZZA is a vegetable. Apparently Congress wants to sell nutrition in schools to the highest lobby and use kids as part of their money making scheme to enrich themselves. This should have really outraged people, it didn't. and now, Pizza is a veggie.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
      • Rbnlegnd101

        Any excuse to avoid regulations. Congress faced a tough choice, impose some regulations, or find a way to say everything is ok as is. Pizza is a veggie allowed them to say everything is ok, so that's what they did.

        January 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Kirstyloo

      One would hope; however, the data do not support your conclusion.

      Summery statement from Etelson et al. (Obesity Research (2003) 11, 1362–1368; doi: 10.1038/oby.2003.184): "most parents (59.4%) of overweight children fail to recognize that their child has a weight problem." I guess most parents of overweight children really don't see it.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  85. Lua

    "In the long run, if kids develop diabetes and heart trouble, the government pays for it one way or another."
    Sad, but true. I see so many obese children where I live. But they don't buy their own food. Their parents do. The parents need to be educated and convinced that even if they don't care if they die early from weight related complications, that does not give them the right to destroy the only body their child gets as well. There are so many weight loss shoes on television now....too fat for fifteen....biggest loser....celebrity weight loss....I used to be fat....Americans are so fat now. Put the fork down, America!

    January 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Concerned American

      People also need to realize that – No they don't have to eat everything on their plate. While yes we are a wasteful society, and children in other countries are starving, restaurants will continue to put more food on the plate than we need. If you are concerned about wasting food, ask for a box at the onset and immediately put more than 50% of your meal in it to take home!

      January 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  86. Mom

    I have 2 very fit children who are in many activities and would not want them to have to stand on the scale. This is part of the reason why schools are not educating our children. Think of the instructional time that is being lost while students are getting weighed. Children are only exposed to 5.5-6 hours of instructional time during school. I am not saying that PE is not important, but is weighing each kid a constructive use of time when the time is to be spent on reading, writing, and math?

    January 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Lua

      Schools are educating your children, don't be dramatic. They take away PE and shorten recess because people like you demand more instructional time. What happens? The kids get fat and lazy because they go home and play video games and watch TV all night. They start showing signs of ADHD because they don't get to play outside during the school day and release some stress and energy from the school day. I'm glad you keep your kids fit, but a lot of parents don't. Quit blaming the school system. Home school if you don't like it, but I'm tired of hearing parents blame the school system for everything. We as Americans are constantly trying to blame everyone else for whatever we see as a problem. One day parents are going to wake up and understand they they are part of the problem too. I can't wait for that day. You're team-mates in your child's education, and if you aren't on board, you're part of the problem.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • LauraJ

      All kids need more PE! A recent study shows kids with more physical activity are smarter than those without!

      January 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • kj1jk

      totally agree! instead of having the whole class stand in line waiting for a scale, the kids could be exercising or learning. what a waste of time – that sort of thing is the parents responsibility.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • Kirstyloo

        Once a year isn't much standing in line.

        January 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  87. Conrad Shull

    Gym class these days discourages vigorous activity in part so kids don't sweat and have to take showers – bad for self-esteem. Riding bikes to school is highly discouraged; in most cases, special permission is needed. The Health/Nutrition folks want to blame McDonald's, Burger King and school lunches. Yet a particular teen demographic loves fast food and lots of it and is almost never fat – skaters.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  88. Brian

    This is an invasion of the childrens rights. I am a parent of an elementary schooler and a husband of an elementary school teacher in Georgia. If the school is just taking the information and handing out pamphlets than the program is useless. If it was a part of a Health/Nutrition class where the students were thought how to exercise and eat better and they did this as part of an assignment where the kids were weighted at home that would be one thing. I don't see this as the case. It is all smoke and mirrors to say we are doing something. They should focus on physical education class, nutrition (including improving school lunches) and education.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Joe

      The problem is mostly what is at home, not the school. The houses are always littered with candy. Nutrition and Exercise are not enough. Training the parents what is considered healthy foods for your children is also a need. And learning to avoid what is not healthy. Dining Out and Take Out needs to be limited in many households. Plus removing sweets and supplimenting healthy material that satisfies the sweet tooth in us.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • rc

      I think the whole usage of BMI is horribly flawed, and children need more physical time, but how is this an invasion of children's rights? Seriously. You're just seeing something that offends you and labeling it as being against someone' rights. Children have limited "rights", specifically because they're children. They don't yet have the mental capacity, and definitely lack the information needed (which is why they are in school) to make informed decisions. Therefore, it does no good to tell a child their BMI. Their parent needs to be told. More correctly, a better indication of obesity should be used (how about a measurement of waistline proportional to chest and hips?) and shared with the parent, along with information the parent can use on how to help their child get the weight down.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • Brian

        I agree. I am a fairly healthly person but in order for my to not be considered overweight accounting to the BMI I need to weight 170 lbs. The last time that happened was in high school. I think the BMI needs to be refigured. Don't get me wrong I need to lose weight but to get to 170 I would look like a skelton. The BMI does not take in to account muscle fitness. I can guarantee that 90% of athletes today are obese just based on BMI.

        January 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |