philly.com – Should schools send letters home to parents indicating their child’s Body Mass Index percentile and weight category? An opinion piece in Pediatrics released online earlier this week discusses how the BMI screening letters have come under harsh criticism in Massachusetts and are now being called “fat letters.” Currently, 21 states have enacted policies or made recommendations regarding the collection of height and weight data or assessment of body composition in public schools. Pennsylvania began to phase in BMI screening for all students in the 2005–2006 school year. New Jersey does not have a state policy. However, its State Board of Education Administrative Code requires annual height and weight screenings for each student in kindergarten through grade 12. At this time, there is no evidence that these letters cause any harm, nor is there any evidence that they do much good. But if they could be used as a vehicle to support healthy habits it may be worth the effort.
Fat parents are already starting complain about this, but there is no better way to make a kid change his behavior than with shame. Having to walk home in shame with that “fat letter” when everybody on the bus already knows you’re fat has to be the first step towards rapid weight loss. Well that or severe emotional distress, depression, and eventually suicide. But most likely weight loss.
Parents these days would rather have their kids die early of diabetes and a heart condition than hurt their self esteem. It’s a backwards society. You know what’s great for self-esteem? Losing a shitload of weight. You know what’s not great for self-esteem? Having a heart attack in your twenties because everyone in your life convinced you you were fine the way you were. Nobody is fine the way they are. Time to get real, America. Kids have been getting sent home with bad report card “stupid letters” for generations and nobody has had a problem with that.