The U.S have done some crazy things but this one takes the cake!
So 19 states have started body mass index screenings in schools to combat childhood obesity. Kids who show signs of being overweight are sent home with so-called “Fat Letters” informing their parents of their child’s health condition.
Many people say these screenings can potentially trigger eating disorders for kids, while many doctors think they’re a great way to make parents aware of childhood obesity.
So far, an 11-year-old Florida teen named Lilly Grasso, who plays on her school’s volleyball team and eats very healthy says her mother, was recently sent home with a “Fat Letter” labeling her overweight.
“This whole thing is stupid. It’s just not useful. It can hurt people. It can break their courage,” said Lilly.
“First, I was hurt, and then I was angry, and then I just was concerned,” said her mother, Kristen Grasso.
“To give a kid a letter telling them the rest of their life they may be overweight or be obese because of a measurement you took one day, it’s just not fair,” the upset mother adds.
WFTV.com reports that Dr. Stephen Pont, who is chairman of the obesity section of American Academy of Pediatrics, said, “They’re a great idea. I very much hope all parents can become aware.”
However, eating disorder experts, such as Claire Mysko, worry the screenings do more harm than good.
“I would like to see BMI testing in schools banned,” Mysko said. “For those who are already insecure about their weight, these tests can potentially trigger an eating disorder.”
“It really doesn’t do much for people except for make them more insecure about themselves,” said student Carmen Kunkel.
In a statement to ABC News about Lilly’s report, Florida officials said the screenings “provide valuable information to parents and help ensure that students are healthy and ready to learn.”
As for Lilly, she said she hasn’t let the letter affect her and has learned an important lesson: “Be confident in everything that I do, and never give up.”
Is BMI testing in schools good or bad?