Jul 29, 2014

Should Schools Stop Sending 'Fat Letters'?

Some state legislators are moving to ban schools sending home letters to students who score overweight or obese on the Body Mass Index. Are the letters good public health policy, unwanted state intrusion or maybe both?

Should Schools Stop Sending 'Fat Letters'?

A recent story on North Andover Patch reignited the debate about whether public schools should send home letters telling parents their child is overweight:

One day last year, North Andover Selectman Tracy Watson received a school letter about her son Cameron. It wasn't about his grades or his behavior. It was to inform her and her husband that Cameron was classified as "obese."

"Honestly, I laughed," Watson said. The letter -- part of a state initiative to monitor children's Body Mass Index -- explained BMI standards and encouraged her and her husband to contact their pediatrician.

But the letters have many in town crying foul and have ignited a debate over the government's role in children's health.

That debate has now flashed nation-wide, as our story was picked up by Fox News, the New York Daily News, reddit and Fark.com.

Parents, have you received a so-called "fat letter" for your child? Do you see the letters as a good public health measure? Or are they a government overreach?

Maybe you distrust the whole idea of BMI, given that by its standards, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is overweight.

Let's discuss it in the comments section.

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