Should schools give grades on kids' weights?

fast food cheeseburger & measuring tapeThis week there has been a lot of coverage on the topic of childhood obesity. It’s not a new subject and one that we’re likely to hear much more on this year.

The Boston Globe reports that for the next 18 months, every public school in Massachusetts will evaluate whether students weigh too much or too little by calculating their body mass index (BMI) scores.

How will students respond to being measured and weighed? Children’s psychologist, Allison Lauretti, PhD, with the Optimal Weight for Life Program suggests likening these new tests to hearing and vision screenings by telling your children, “This is just another way of schools letting Mom and Dad know how you’re growing.”

Read what Children’s obesity expert, David Ludwig, MD, PhD, has to say about schools’ BMI report cards.

Reuters reports that the United States Preventive Services Task Force is now urging screening for obesity in children. The percentage of children between 2- and 19-years old is six times the amount it was in the 1970s, hovering between 12 and 18 percent. Could school screenings be the answer?

stockphotopro_90768003ADC_mother_feedingIt seems like it’s never too early to be an obesity watchdog for your children. This Reuters article reports that starting spoonfeeding later may reduce your infant’s risk of becoming an overweight adult. The World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively until they are six months old and advise against introducing solid foods until then.

Read more of what Children’s experts have to say on the childhood obesity epidemic.