Parents Find Kids' Weight Report Cards Hard to Swallow

From Drugs.com - February 14, 2018

Parents Find Kids' Weight Report Cards Hard to Swallow

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14, 2018 -- Schools across the country are issuing special report cards that assess a student's weight and health -- but parents often do not believe what they are seeing, a small study shows.

Known as BMI report cards, they contain information about a child's body mass index -- an estimate of body fat based on weight and height. BMI report cards also outline what families can do if their child is considered overweight or at risk for weight-related diseases, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

About half of U.S. states have laws requiring schools to conduct BMI screenings among their students, according to a study published last year in Current Obesity Reports.

However, in the new study, researchers found that more than half -- 53 percent -- of the parents who got such a report did not believe that it accurately categorized their child as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

Still, other parents said that information on the BMI report cards led them to think more about their child's weight and make changes to their family's lifestyle, the study found.

The researchers, led by Marla Jones, an associate professor of exercise science at Missouri Western State University, found that:

The findings were based on the responses of 66 parents who received a BMI report card from their child's school. The study was published recently in the journal Health Promotion Practice.


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