BMI Testing in Schools
Jodi Kantor wrote an article for the New York Times about the laws in some states that require BMI (body mass index) testing of elementary school students. As the epidemic of childhood obesity continues to grow, it seems logical that the impact of early detection would be positive. The testing could potentially curb the health risks and social stigmas associated with obesity. However, simply sending home a note to the parents of overweight children may not be enough – education, health resources and support are not readily available once a child has been labeled at-risk. Problems can also arise from the complicated nature of the solution – some children may need more exercise, some may need to change the kind of foods they eat and others may need to be treated for underlying emotional issues. It’s not as simple as other programs implemented by schools, such as the “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign. Jodi discusses the laws’ potential for controversy and how they are affecting families.