Georgia to track students' BMI

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, Development/Milestones: Babies, Day Care & Education

A new law in Georgia requires schools to measure and track students' body-mass index in order to help combat widespread problems with obesity; more than one third of the students in the state are considered overweight. They're not the first; several other states have similar laws on the books, including Arkansas, which was the first in 2003.

Children will be weighed twice a year, in private. Their BMI will be tracked but kept confidential. "Sally, step into the office, step up on the scale, that's about as invasive as it gets," said Senator Joseph Carter, who sponsored the bill. "The presence of childhood obesity is staggering," he added.

Not everyone is a fan of the idea, however. Senator Preston Smith wants to keep the government out of the weight loss business and worries that pressure from schools will do more harm than good. "Come on, pick it up fat kid, we're not going to get money if you don't!" he said, mimicking what he thought school officials would say.

Personally, I'm not sure this will lead to a significant increase in school-related trauma, but I'm also not convinced that this will do any good whatsoever. It seems to me that nutrition education and reworking P.E. classes to be more practical and enjoyable might be a better solution, but I'm certainly no senator. What do you think?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.