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Schools Want to Grade Kids on Fat

by Sasha Brown-Worsham on April 26, 2011 at 7:33 PM

It is possible that in the next few years, we could see students getting graded not just for reading, writing and mathematics, but also for their weight.

Over the past 30 years, rates of high Body Mass Index (BMI) have tripled. Close to one in three American children are now overweight or obese. Really, it is shameful.

The health effects of childhood obesity and high BMI are no secret. Extra weight can lead to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, asthma and sleep apnea, among other serious health problems into adulthood. Of course, the US is not the only country dealing with these issues. Malaysia has just passed a countrywide policy to include a BMI score at school alongside the typical academic marks and many schools in the US are headed in that direction, too as they implement policies and procedures for dealing with obesity.

We should do the same here.

Parents worry that putting the BMI on report cards will humiliate their children and that the schools are welcome to teach healthy habits, but monitoring weight is not their role. Unfortunately, those parents are wrong.

The fact is, if your kid is obese, someone is doing something wrong. Or there is a health problem. Either way, it is the job of the entire community -- schools included -- to stop it and to teach children that it is wrong. Not in a "wow you are disgusting" way, but in a "wow, you need to be making healthier choices" way.

Obesity is not some happy little freedom we all have the right to choose. It is an epidemic that puts a strain on all of our resources -- from the health-care system to the insurance companies and beyond. Children should not be that overweight. Ever. And if they are, someone needs to stop it.

Parents are often in denial about their child's weight problem or they have weight problems themselves and don't consider it a problem. But it is. The fact is, if parents are not fixing them problems, then the schools should at least try.

Would you support putting the BMI on report cards?


Image via puuikibeach/Flickr

Filed Under: elementary school


  • Steph...


    April 26, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Wow, because kids don't have enough pressure on them already, right? 

  • karis...


    April 26, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    I don't think BMI should be on a report card. I don't think it would be bad to have a yearly physical and BMI score mailed to parents. It isn't a grade and shouldn't be on the report card.

  • Tiffe...


    April 26, 2011 at 7:47 PM
    That's encourage kids to make fun of other people
  • level...


    April 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM
    Do they fail if they are too fat?

    I like karischub's idea of a physical at school. The schools should also put more emphasis on gym or recess and serve healthier foods.
  • Kayane


    April 26, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    BMI is not always acurate. I wouldn't support BMI's in school.

  • phant...


    April 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM
    Big Brother has his nose in enough of my business, tyvm.
  • butte...


    April 26, 2011 at 8:39 PM
    Nope because BMI is often wrong! And as a fat kid in school, this will just lead to more torture for overweight kids. And I'll let you in on a secret, pushing kids about being fat will often make them either a) rebel and eat more or b) develop eating disorders. Bring back recess and gym, serve healthier foods. Make it about fun and learning and less about the numbers ob the scale and the weight will drop.
  • PonyC...


    April 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    So, you're all for "intervening" wtih kids who are too skinny, too, right? Because anorexia can be far more deadly than carrying a few extra pounds. Or are they "just small for their age"?

    and then how do you propose to deal with the kids for whom this kind of judgement triggers a disordered behavior (like anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating)? What then?


  • douxm...


    April 26, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    half the reason so many kids are overweight are BECAUSE of the school and USDA food programs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mommy...


    April 26, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Muscle weighs more than fat, bmi is too often wrong. I will move out of this country before asking the government to impede our lives any more.

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