Mom Outraged After ​School Tells 6-Year-Old She's 'Fat'

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These days, schools don't only grade kids on their intellectual abilities, but on a far more touchy topic: their weight. That's why Florida first grader Charley recently came home with a letter from her nurse stating that the 6-year-old's 4'2", 60-pound frame was a "problem." "Do you think I'm fat?" Charley asked her mom, Laura Cacdac.

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Laura, upon seeing the letter, went ballistic. And I totally get why: for one, Charley isn't even technically overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control body mass index calculator, a 4'2", 60-pound 6-year-old is in the 78th percentile, meaning she's a "healthy weight."

Even so, the fact remains: childhood obesity is a real and prevalent problem; one in every three American kids is either overweight or obese. So, I'm glad that weight screenings at Charley's school and many others are required by law.

More from The Stir: Helping Kids Lose Weight: 8 Dos & Don'ts

But the part of this process I do have a beef with is this: the delivery of the news. Because let's face it -- girls have a delicate enough body image as it is. Send home an official letter stating she's overweight, and you could have sown the seeds to a full-blown eating disorder. 

So, I think a better tactic would be for schools to tell parents directly if their kids are overweight -- by mailing or emailing a letter to them -- and to keep kids out of it. From there, the parents can decide whether to break the news to their kids or just try to make changes to the family's diet or exercise regimen.

While hurt feelings can't be avoided in every instance, this is one instance where some sensitivity is in order. After all, odds are kids know if they're overweight; they may even endure some teasing from their peers already. Schools shouldn't make them feel worse than they already do.

How do you think schools should handle overweight kids?

 

Image via Oko Laa/shutterstock

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