TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Schools across U.S. measure body mass index of students

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, March 29, 2014, 5:51 p.m.
 

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — The Chula Vista school district not only measures the academic progress of Marina Beltran's second-grader, it also measures her son's body fat.

Every two years, Antonio Beltran, like his classmates, steps on a scale. Trained personnel measure his height and then use the two figures to calculate his body mass index, an indicator of body fat.

The calculation isn't reported to Beltran or her son. Instead it's used by the district to collect local data on children's weight.

Beltran supports her son's school in measuring students because the data has brought in help to address obesity, which can lead to diabetes and other illnesses tied to a lifetime of poor habits. But the practice isn't embraced everywhere.

Other districts have angered parents and eating disorder groups by conducting screenings to identify overweight children and send home what critics call obesity report cards or “fat letters.”

Schools in nearly a quarter of all states record body mass index scores, measuring hundreds of thousands of students.

Massachusetts in October stopped requiring schools to notify parents when a child scores high after reports that the data was not safeguarded enough, “leading to alarm, confusion or embarrassment,” according to the state's public health department. Parents can request the results.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Surge in small drones making airline pilots nervous
  2. Boston airport’s ‘naked man’ remains behind bars
  3. In Ferguson, demonstrations over black youth’s slaying by police officer peter out
  4. Rookie Cleveland police officer acted within 2 seconds to shoot 12-year-old boy
  5. Obama’s immigration actions neglect business pleas
  6. Ferguson testimony filled with variations
  7. Fissures begin to emerge among Dems
  8. Test vaccine to fight Ebola promising
  9. Fewer adults smoking, U.S. survey finds
  10. Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has stent placed in heart artery
  11. Obama administration announces plan to limit smog-forming ozone
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.