Body Mass Index test in kindergarten?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2001
Body Mass Index test in kindergarten?
10
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 3:13pm

My dd just texted me that the school tested my grandsons' body mass index at school. According to them it should he should be in the 85 or  less percentile for his age and height and he's at 90.68!! They're telling her to take him to the doctor? Really? This child doesn't have a weight problem. He had a complete exam before starting school and received a clean bill of health! I'm mortified and mystified by this! I asked her if this is a required test and if not, did they ask permission first? Seems to me if they feel a child might have some type of health concern they should inform the parent so they can take them to their doctor.

Sharon

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 2:36pm
Just for a frame of reference, our kids in elementary school get measured three times a year in gym class and a report goes home along with how many of different exercises they do to measure their fitness level. No where on the report does it say you have to take them to the doctor, but will have suggestions on how to get your kids more active. I would be upset if they told me I had to take him to the doctor.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2001
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 3:14pm

I'm sure it was just a "suggestion" that she take him, but if questioned later in the year what will the consequences be? It's a bit scary to think about.

I guess I just keep thinking about the whole "self image" thing and how we're told we shouldn't make children or anyone for that matter feel bad about themselves. Does checking the BMI help that? If it's done in a group setting, wouldn't those children that are struggling with weight be embarrassed? I'm just not sure I like this much. I believe if a teacher feels there might be an issue with a childs' weight/health..perhaps find an alternative method? I know there are parents and grandparents that refuse to believe there might be a problem and can't be dealt with, but doing a whole school BMI seems like a sneaky end around way of  singling out these children under cover of a crowd. My opinion only and it's not always coherent.LOL!

Sharon

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 3:24pm
I was thinking of those same issues after I replied, the more I thought about it. I really hope that the results are kept confidential and that the kids aren't standing on scales in front of everyone else when they are weighed. I'm going to have to question the boys when they get home from school! There is such an emphasis these days on weight in the schools, they've completely revamped the lunch menus even. It's really none of the school's business what you choose to do with the info, that's between the parents and their physician. I think that it's getting a bit ridiculous how they are trying to take decisions away from the parents, kwim?

One of my twins is around the 92% now, down from 95% about a month ago. He does tend to be not as physical as his brothers, and with his body type will tend to be heavier. While his doctor didn't mention his weight at his last appointment, I get concerned just because I want him to get him up and out of the house more! It's a very fine line on how to address it with kids so that they don't develop a bad body image, and agree that the school should have approached it in a different way. Our school sends home the reports with report cards, so I doubt the students see it unless they know what to look for, at least I hope that's the situation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2001
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 4:08pm

I do to. I'll have to get my dd to talk to my grandsons' school and ask a few questions. I totally understand the health issues and tweaking the menus and such is great, but like you said, it may be intruding on parental authority. I just find the whole thing a little high on my creep meter.LOL

Sharon

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 8:15pm
Thankfully we don't have any testing like this here but we do have schools in newer communities that are very focused on healthy living which creates problems for kids. They aren't allowed to eat foods that aren't healthy with others. They are sent to principals office which I think is terrible. If a parent were to send cookies then child either doesn't eat them until they are home or they will have to go to principals office. There are morning exercises for all at these schools. As a parent, you know what you are signing up for if you chose to move into these areas.

Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2001
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 11:38pm

That doesn't surprise me. There is definitely an imbalance in the school systems not only state to state...but even from city to county.

Sharon

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2001
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 1:29pm

Hi Ed. We're definitely not going to throw stones because everyone is entitled voice their opinion without fear of an angry mob.LOL

I completely understand about the need to help our children form more healthy eating habits, my only concern was the way my grandson's school handled this testing. I think they should have at least allowed the parents to choose whether or not they want their child to participate. I'm also concerned with the affect the test will have on the students who might be struggling with weight and any possible embarrassment they might suffer.

Weight can be a really sensitive subject with adults and children and perhaps should be discussed on a more personal level if they perceive a problem with a student.

As always, these are all our own opinions and we're most definitely not here to force them on anyone nor do we wish to offend anyone in the process. Discussion and civil debate are wonderful things and we appreciate you're visiting us here. It's always a pleasure to welcome someone new.

Sharon

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2001
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 8:02am

Good morning Ed. You bring up very valid points and I appreciate your input. You are absolutely right. As grandparents we have a responsibility to ensure our grandchildren are getting good nutrition when we have the power/opportunity to do so. Many of us don't have our grandchildren all the time, but we do the best we can.

Sharon