I was just reading this article about the decision is Massachusetts to start screening the body mass index of elementary school students. I am disgusted by this decision on so many levels. First, is school not stressful enough for kids these days that they have to worry about being paraded down to the nurses office and have their bodies measured and compared. Are kids, girls in particular, not already self conscious enough? And for those who aren't, either because they are too young to have that emotion yet, or just aren't by nature, aren't we creating a environment for those emotions? Second, do we really need a number to tell us whether a kid is "over weight" or not. It seems to me, you can look at most kids and know they are either slim, average or, perhaps overweight. Do we really need to label kids with a number? What purpose will that serve? Teaching kids about living healthy should happen regardless of their BMI. Third, isn't it really the parents who need the education around this? I can't see this testing as the best way to do that. Many kids who are over weigh have over weight parents - and likewise, many under weight kids have under weight parents. Maybe we should line parents up to have their BMI determined. That might be more effective.
I'm all for nutrition and teaching kids (and everyone for that matter) about making healthy choices. But really, to have kids' bodies measured and compared while in school, a place where they are supposed to feel safe and not judged, just does not sit right with me.