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NEWS: Should Kids Be Graded on Weight

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posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:17 AM
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Georgia lawmakers, concerned with increasingly widespread obesity in schoolchildren, are debating a piece of legislation that would require school districts to include a child's Body Mass Index (BMI) on his report card. Past studies have shown that childhood obesity can lead to hypertension, Type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, and social and psychological problems.
 



www.ajc.com
The intent is to "wake up parents who may not be aware their children are obese or heading that way," said state Rep. Judy Manning (R-Marietta), one of the bill's co-sponsors.

Students' weight problems are "showing up in their grades, their ability to stay awake, their ability to focus and their ability to run at recess," Manning said.

House Bill 497, introduced Wednesday, would require that the report card not only show twice a year a child's body mass index — a formula based on weight and height — but also tell parents whether it is below, within or above the normal range.

Parents of students in the above-normal range would receive literature about diabetes and other health consequences of obesity.

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The Georgia Division of Public Health estimates that one in three middle-school students ages 11-14 are overweight or on their way to becoming overweight. In high school, 26 percent of students ages 14-18 are classified as overweight or at risk for being overweight.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This legislation is extremely controversial, and frankly not likely to pass. Critics worry about privacy and funding issues, as well as the potential for overweight children to become the targets of teasing by their peers. Supporters maintain that the school systems take a proactive stance on vision and hearing screenings, and that this basic measure of health would not place an unnecessary burden on the system.

I personally think it's a great idea, if the measurements are taken by someone with the proper training. The U.S. has a growing problem with obesity and its associated health issues; maybe this would shake parents out of their complacency over their children's well-being.

Related News Links:
www.kidsource.com




posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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The critics be damned. A BMI on a report card isn't going to impact whether or not kids are teased for being fat. Kids are teased for being fat, not having a high BMI. The good thing about the BMI, it can identify those who because of body type don't appear as fat as they really are, but this will have little effect, if parents aren't instructed how to use the information. I can see no difference between this and the massive eye testing that went on in schools when I was growing up and may, in fact, still be going on.

[edit on 05/2/17 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:31 AM
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This is NOT a great idea! Are you kidding me?

Schools don't even have time to teach children how to write in cursive. They pretty much go straight from printing to keyboards so that children can keep up with technology. Schools don't have time to have DAILY P.E.!!! Elementary schools only have PE two times a week and even that depends on their budget.

Schools need to teach children to read and write. They need to give our children an education. If they are worried about obesity than they should bring back P.E.

I'm sick of the Government trying to strip me of MY responsibilities. They are MY children. It is MY job to be sure they are eating well and kept in shape.

Geeze. What next? Will the schools be required to take a stool sample from each child to be sure that they are eating well balanced meals and not just junk food?

Give me a break!

Jemison



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:35 AM
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I was given stool sample tests when I was in school. This is health issue and every school has a nurse. I just can't see how taking the time the measure and weigh students a few times a year is going to interrupt the educational process. This is good sound, scientifically significant information for parents to use to help keep their kids healthy.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:39 AM
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You have got to be kidding me! Children are not responsible for what they are given to eat....that goes to the parent.....this has got to be one of the most stupid, unintelligent things I have ever heard!



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:45 AM
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Children are not responsible for what they are given to eat....that goes to the parent.


That is exactly why the information would go on the child's report card, so the parent can be made aware. God! With all the stupidity going on in the schools today ( www.msnbc.msn.com... ), I find it hard to believe that their addressing a widely recognized health problem would be causing so much alarm.


[edit on 05/2/17 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:45 AM
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BMI is STUPID and useless. According to BMI Rocky was fat.

If this goes through, look for more bulemic and annorexic girls.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 08:58 AM
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If this goes through, look for more bulemic and annorexic girls.


EXACTLY!!!

I have 4 daughters. They are ALL in good shape. They go to their Pediatrician annually for a check-up. That check-up is not just for their well being and for my piece of mind, it is also REQUIRED by the school district. IF my children were to be on the road to obesity the Pediatrician should be the one to discuss this with me NOT the school.

Do any of you that are FOR this have children that are in the school system right now? Do any of you have DAUGHTERS in the school system? Do you have ANY idea how damaging this could potentially be?

I just have to sit here and shake my head that anyone would think that this is appropriate in the schools. My husband and I would be the first ones protesting if our daughters' school tried to start doing this.

Jemison



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 09:07 AM
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BMI is not only good for identifying overweight children, but underweight children, as well. Having a quantitative measure for assessing appropriate weight, instead of trying to emulate a stupid doll or runway model, is more likely to produce girls who are less likely to have eating disorders.

If I did have kids in school, I would be far less concerned about this intervention than I would about the girls who come home to announce that they will no longer eat meat because some dimwit, eco-feminist third grade teacher had been brainwashing her students to believe that meat is murder.

A couple of links:

www.bu.edu...

www.ksg.harvard.edu...

[edit on 05/2/17 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by Jemison

IF my children were to be on the road to obesity the Pediatrician should be the one to discuss this with me NOT the school.


Jemison, from reading your previous posts I have no doubt that you are a concerned and caring parent, and I'm sure that you watch what your kids eat and make sure they get some exercise each day. But please keep in mind that not all children are so fortunate. Latchkey keys, whose eating and exercise habits are not monitored by a caregiver, are a fact of life in the US (latest figures I've seen are in the neighborhood of 7 million of 'em). Those yearly checkups you mentioned are often provided by a county healthcare facility, where the exams are cursory, at best. And if the parents themselves aren't aware of the causes and dangers of obesity, how can they guide their children's behavior in this area?


Do any of you that are FOR this have children that are in the school system right now? Do any of you have DAUGHTERS in the school system? Do you have ANY idea how damaging this could potentially be?


Yes, I do, to all three questions. But the potential dangers can be minimized with proper handling, and the potential benefits are great enough that this step should be given serious consideration.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 09:49 AM
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This really doesn't sound like a witch hunt for "hidden" fat kids or bad parents to me. Just a "fair" non-confrontational opportunity for teachers to "inform" parents they already know are borderline abusive or ignoring their child's health.

If a kid is average or 10 or 20% over or under, no biggie. A BMI just appears on report card with a key. But if morbidly obese, unhealthy, and packed Twinkies every day for lunch, how else do you "talk to the parent" without this sort of broad, fair, non-invasive approach?

Just say "I couldn't help but notice your kid was a lard ass, here's a brochure on how to raise children you idiot..."

Or "Medical testing indicates a high risk for heart problems and diabetes, etc. with your child's BMI. What that means is.... And here's how to fix it."

Seems like it could be done with dignity, privately, and most importantly help alot of kids.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 09:51 AM
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Having a quantitative measure for assessing appropriate weight, instead of trying to emulate a stupid doll or runway model, is more likely to produce girls who are less likely to have eating disorders.


No. Any time you make a girls weight 'public', even with the school nurse, and have ANYTHING regarding their weight in writing for strangers to see, I can guarantee you, you will have eating disorders.




But please keep in mind that not all children are so fortunate. Latchkey keys, whose eating and exercise habits are not monitored by a caregiver, are a fact of life in the US (latest figures I've seen are in the neighborhood of 7 million of 'em)


I am fully aware of that. But guess what? Those children will NOT benefit from being graded on their weight. Those are the children whose parents won't know what a BMI is and don't have the time/energy/resources to change their lifestyle, be home at 4:30 and start cooking healthy meals and signing their children up for soccer or dance class. Those latchkey kids would probably be the LAST ones to get any benefit from this ... as a matter of fact, it would be yet one more reason for them to be sad ... sad that their parents don't care enough to PARENT them.

Take it from someone who has been down the road of eating disorders. This is a BAD idea. And considering over 90% of the people who suffer from eating disorders are female, I would pray that this type of decision is left to someone with ovaries.

Jemison



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by RANT

Just say "I couldn't help but notice your kid was a lard ass, here's a brochure on how to raise children you idiot..."




Wouldn't life be so much easier if we could just say what we mean, and didn't have to worry about being PC?


Originally posted by Jemison

Any time you make a girls weight 'public', even with the school nurse, and have ANYTHING regarding their weight in writing for strangers to see, I can guarantee you, you will have eating disorders.


I disagree. As a cheerleader from 7th grade through college, I was weighed on a weekly basis in front of the entire squad. Not one member of *any* of those teams ever developed an eating disorder.

Give kids a bit more credit than that. Knowing your weight does not send you on a one-way trip to bulimia.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 10:01 AM
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Well, if the schools want to grade the kids weights, they need to fix what they feed them to begin with. Grease and bread is what is on the lunch trays.With a serving of ketchup for a vegetable. Not to mention coke machines in the lobby.

They need more time for recess and a gym period daily(though I hated gym, and was always skinny) Mind and body need to be balanced. That includes what is fed to them THERE

Parents bear the ultimate responsibilty to their kids. Kids are fat today because they eat crap. McDonalds, cokes, cakes, and chips are all to blame. I have two children and they drink water when we are out. Their after school snack is up to them. Their choices are apples, grapes, cheese, banannas, unsweetened fruit cups, baby carrots or salad. We eat fast food rarely, and I cook often. We do go out to eat though. Again, they get water and eat fairly well.

After school is a time for playing outside, bike riding and homework. Some days you have more of one than the other. Food choices that PARENTS make and that the SCHOOL OFFERS are so important.

As parents we need to raise our kids to believe in exercise and to eat WELL. I do NOT want to school labeling children. I want them to clean up their act on the nourishent front




If I did have kids in school, I would be far less concerned about this intervention than I would about the girls who come home to announce that they will no longer eat meat because some dimwit, eco-feminist third grade teacher had been brainwashing her students to believe that meat is murder.


If this happens in my children's school career there will be a parent/teacher/principal conference and it will END. There is no place for that in school. Go attend a rally if you want, don't brainwash my kids.

I had a 6th grade teacher who "grew" food in a lab. AKA he took foods and let mold and bacteria grow on them. My mother was livid as I ate so few things anyhow, that I then added some more things to my "I won't eat list". I think at that point I would eat chicken, steak , macaroni and cheese, green beans, corn and potatoes. That was IT! And yes, I would have sat and starved if something I didn't like was on the table. I did more than once. I am alive today and not overweight.




[edit on 2/17/2005 by llpoolej]


I disagree. As a cheerleader from 7th grade through college, I was weighed on a weekly basis in front of the entire squad. Not one member of *any* of those teams ever developed an eating disorder.


I had two best friends who were cheerleaders and both had eating disorders. Both were gymnasts also, and both threw up at regular intervals. Bulimia is VERY common with teenaged girls. I was way too uncoordinated to be a cheerleader myself


[edit on 2/17/2005 by llpoolej]



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 10:14 AM
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I disagree. As a cheerleader from 7th grade through college, I was weighed on a weekly basis in front of the entire squad. Not one member of *any* of those teams ever developed an eating disorder.


Eating disorders are very private. Most of the time it isn't a group binge/purge session. I am not surprised that you were unaware of the private hell of some of your squad members.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I feel that school should focus on educating my children. They have limited time and resources to do that right now. Adding an additional measure in the hopes that some unfit parents might suddenly become fit is taking away from something else. Schools can't afford to have anything taken away right now.

If the school has a concern with a childs weight they can single that child out and send home information on healthy eating. There is no reason why an entire school has to be involved and why a child should be 'graded' on their weight.

Jemison



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by Jemison
I feel that school should focus on educating my children.


I think that is exactly the point. The BMI is an educational tool that when used in conjunction with the school, the parents and the children, coupled with other health and physical education, can orient children toward a lifetiime of wellness.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by Jemison

If the school has a concern with a childs weight they can single that child out and send home information on healthy eating.


Frankly, I think this could be far more damaging to a child's self-esteem than the proposed program.

My kids have health classes and PE twice a week; I don't see why obtaining a BMI measurement couldn't be incorporated with these classes as a way to teach kids about a healthy lifestyle.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 10:59 AM
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I say, go for it. Why shouldn't kids be graded on their weight? Physical Education, right? Whats the sense of getting a grade for gym, seems like body mass index would be a much better thing for it.



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 11:04 AM
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.
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Seeing this post motivated me to write a news article I've been sitting on for a while. ...Not hard to do, because the "science news" is full of related stuff.



Obesity and Mad Cow Disease

"Links between obesity and prion-related diseases like Mad Cow were made some time ago. Prion diseases are known to make fat cells or "lipids" mutate, but no one quite understands how it all works. Research presented at the recent Biochemical Society Symposium helps unravel the mystery."


Check it out, and see where this kind of legislation leads...


.



[edit on 17-2-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 11:07 AM
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My primary concern with this is that the BMI index isn't always terrible useful. Since age 13, according to BMI, approx. 1/4 of my body weight has been "overweight." Meaning, for example, I currently weigh 240, and according to BMI, I should weight 180-190. Seeing as how I am 6'4 and have a large build, if I were 180-190, I would be dangerously underweight. BMI is all good and well if you are between say 5' and 6' tall(or for a child, average height for your age), with a small or medium build. But think of everyone you know who is not built like that, all the kids you know who aren't. BMI will label them fat, no matter how fit and trim they are. Using a system to aid parents is unnecessary, I think, but not harmful, but BMI should not be the system, because it has the potential to be harmful.



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