BMI measurement in schools can help in fight against childhood obesity

08/19/2013 | · U.S. News & World Report

BMI screening programs in public schools have sparked controversy because critics say sending "fat letters" to parents could raise the risk of bullying and eating disorders, but a perspective piece in the journal Pediatrics revealed that such interventions can be beneficial in combating childhood obesity. School BMI screenings in Arkansas resulted in more children joining exercise programs and greater improvements in dietary patterns. These letters "are an additional awareness tool to promote conversations about healthy eating habits, exercise, and weight in the safety and confidential environment of the child's home," Baystate Medical Center's Dr. Michael R. Flaherty writes.

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