While at dinner my husband asked if I had seen the news articles about “fat letters”? I had not. If you have kids in school…wait till you hear this.
Schools in 19 states have started having weigh ins. They are weighing kids at school and then sending home letters to inform parents that their child is or isn’t overweight. According the article they are using the BMI chart in conjunction with growth charts to ultimately determine whether or not the child is overweight. The students have dubbed them “fat letters”.
To be honest, I’m not sure where to start with this. Here I go…
As a parent, this is not ok. My job is to take care of my child and their health. It is not the responsibility of the school. Yes, my child eats lunch at school. I have taught him to make healthy choices. He doesn’t always but it was MY job to teach him.
Side note- in one of my recent grocery runs I noticed how easy and cheap it is to buy foods that are high in sodium, fatty and full of preservatives. Why would someone who is on a very tight budget buy fresh fruit that could rot within a week and only feed a few? When they can easily buy two boxes of Mac and Cheese for $1 and feed more people. I see a lot of statistics about obesity and how it is a rising problem but the prices of food also continue to rise. It can be expensive to eat healthy and not everyone can afford it. A different post and a different time to address this.
How is this going to effect our children? In todays world of social media, news travels fast. Kids talk, text, facebook and tweet more and more every day. I could see this leading to an increase in bullying. What happens when word starts getting around to who did and didn’t get a letter? It’s going to add fuel to the fire and I surely hope these 19 schools are ready for the backlash.
I’ve said this before but wellness is so much more than the number on the scale. By sending these letters home we are teaching our kids that wellness is ALL about the number on the scale. I truly believe that we could potentially damage them emotionally.
I agree that childhood obesity is becoming an issue. Kids who have a healthy breakfast tend to do better in school. Battling childhood obesity could lead to a decease in a multitude of childhood illnesses. Yet, it is an issue for parents to worry about not schools. Lets find other ways to collect data and help children learn to make better choices.
Here is the link if you wish to read the article