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Note from School: Your Kid's Fat!

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Will giving kids weight screenings at school help stop childhood obesity?

Starting this year, Massachusetts schools will be sending home report cards that are a matter of life or death. According to the Boston Globe, comprehensive BMI (Body Mass measurements) will be issued to parents of students that will gauge whether their child is at a safe weight. The state hopes the scorecards will assist parents in combating childhood obesity.

But the dissemination of this information isn't getting high marks from health professionals. "Focusing on body image is the wrong way to go," says Haylie J. Pomroy, nutritional counselor. "The focus should not be on body image but  lifestyle choices."

Although Pomroy is wary of the repercussions of sending these kind evaluations to parents, she does understand the thinking behind it. "Childhood obesity is a crisis, and any time there's a program to raise awareness it's a good thing." Ultimately, Pomroy thinks the BMI testing is unnecessary. "Most parents know if their child is struggling with weight issues," she says.

If parents really want to keep their kids at a healthy weight, says Pomroy, mother of two, they need to instill in kids the empowerment of healthy food choices and not focus on fat or thin.
Pomroy says she practices what she preaches too. "I tell our kids about foods that make them run faster and build their immune system and which foods are 'brain foods.' Like if they have a test coming up, I tell them to eat carrots to get ready."

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