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Fat letters...here we go again!

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Is it the school's place to monitor your child's weight and to let you know if they're reaching the 'unhealthy zone'? Is this any different that the yearly vision and hearing testing? Is the outrage over this overblown?

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/09/04/schools-sending-fat-letters-to-parents-about-overweight-children/

Schools Sending ‘Fat Letters’ To Parents About Overweight Children


STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Many schools are sending noteshome to parents, telling them their children are overweight.

Lauren Schmitt, a registered dietitian, starts the school year by checking out the weight of hundreds of preschoolers in the San Fernando Valley.

“We look at growth charts and percentiles. And when a child is at 95 percent of their…we can look at weight for age or weight for height…that child would be considered obese,” she said.

By October, CBS2’s Suraya Fadel reported that parents will get what is called “healthy or unhealthy” letters. Kids call them “fat letters.”

Schmitt said out of the 900 2 to 5-year-old children she looks at, roughly 200 are listed as obese.

“We let the parents know in a gentle fashion, but we also send out a ton of handouts to try to help that family,” she said.

Experts said 19 states around the country are cracking down on childhood obesity with similar letters.

“Every year there are a few phone calls from parents who are upset,” said Schmitt.

Many districts in Southern California, such as Riverside County, choose to follow state guidelines and instead send test results of the child’s body mass index to their parents.

“It shouldn’t be a stigma. It’s not a way to categorize someone. It’s just showing that this child has increased risk to be obese as an adult, which then could lead to quite a few chronic diseases,” said Schmitt.

The dietitian said the goal is to empower and educate parents with the tools to make healthier lifestyle choices for children.

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 6:24 PM
Replies (11-20):
housewifehell
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Its great thatt tthey want the goal to be "empower and educate parents with the tools to make healthier lifestyle choices for children." But until the school systems adopt a real GOOD NUTRITION standard this is just another waste of time and money because these kids are learning that its perfectly fine to eat crap. They are being taught the food guide pyramid or is it the "plate" now either way they are not being taught about good nutrition. No one is telling them in school that eating a twinkie is NOT the same nutritionally as eating healthy foods. 

susannah2000
by Bronze Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 8:20 PM

It's not the school's job to monitor children's weight or tell parents how to parent.

pvtjokerus
by Platinum Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 8:48 PM
3 moms liked this

Hmmmm....are these the same schools that have cut out P.E.?

nadean32
by New Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 9:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I THINK ITS A GOOD IDEA. SOME PEOPLE HAVE NO KNOWLEGE ON HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT OR HOW TO EAT HEALTHY. CHILDHOOD OBESITY IS A MAJOR ISSUE IN THIS DAY AND AGE.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM
3 moms liked this

 I think this type of stuff for pre-schoolers is really out of line.  You youngest was in the higher percentile from birth to about age 6...then he sprouted and was in the highest height percentile.

My regular doctor is an internest and he said the BMI is not an accurate way to measure.  It fails to account for muscle mass and also doesn't consider genetic body build.  He said it is even worse when used on kids because kids don't grow at an even rate.

How about if the schools start worrying more about physical activity and decent meals in the cafeteria.  You know, actually addressing some of the causes of obesity.

coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:27 PM
We get them, no big deal. So far I haven't heard any complaints.
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lga1965
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:37 PM

 I am probably the only one who can see this as helpful.....but if they are sending home notes with gentle suggestions, I don't see that they are sending home "Fat letters". Overweight or obese is a bad sign in a little kid. It shows that their future could be unhealthy if Mom doesn't change her way of shopping for food and cooking for her family. And if she refuses to heed the warnings of school nurses. Then too, there is the factor of exercise. Since homes are investing in electronics....games,computers, etc.....kids sit on their butts for long periods of time.Bad idea.

It is not a pleasant thought and too many people get defensive and react negatively to the truth, but let's face it---kids ARE fatter than they were about 20 -30 years ago. Not good.

lga1965
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:41 PM

 

Quoting susannah2000:

It's not the school's job to monitor children's weight or tell parents how to parent.

 Okay---then who will tell them? Obviously there are some clueless parents out there because there are way too may kids who have bellies and jiggling fat all over their bodies. They eat too much crappy food while sitting in front of the TV or X-Box.And Mommy cooks too much food.

Pickle521
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:47 PM
3 moms liked this

I thought it was the pediatrician's job to discuss weight and weight management with parents?  IMO, schools can focus on encouraging recess and p.e. (physical activity) and offering healthy school lunches.  The letters seem like a bit much.

cherrybomb55
by Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 10:50 PM

I wonder what they do if a kid is underweight. That is just as serious as being overweight. 

It doesn't bother me though.

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