When Schools Report Students' Weight to Parents, Changes Seldom Happen, Study Finds
In California, nearly all public schools have been keeping track of students' height and weight when they are fifth, seventh and ninth graders for 10 years, but not all are passing that info on to parents, Reuters reports. And, a new study shows, even when schools do notify parents when their kids are obese or overweight, it doesn't make much of a difference.
Dr. Kristine A. Madsen of the University of California, San Francisco, tells Reuters kids didn't lose any more weight when their parents were told they had pounds to shed than students whose parents were not notified.
"Physical education is probably the most underused public health tool we have," she tells the news service. "We really would urge schools to make sure their environments are supporting physical activity to the extent possible."
Madsen tells Reuters schools also should try a little harder to reach parents -- sending a letter, the way most were notified, may not be enough, and terms such as "body mass index" were used instead of words like "obesity," which could lead to confusion.
"Even if they see the letter, we think they may not get the message," she tells the news service.
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