Obesity control in schools

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What if you looked in the mirror and saw only flaws? Your arms jiggled a little too much, stomach overlapped your pants, and your thighs touched. What if all of your flaws were exaggerations because you were made to believe that you were overweight or not as good as your peers?  

Imagine what life is like for a first grader that has already begun to question their appearance and feels as if they belong in a separate group and have no friends. This is what happens to students when their school has annual weigh-ins and then sends letters home to their parents letting them know that their child’s body mass index is healthy or dangerous.

I am all for healthy lifestyleand ending childhood obesity. I think that eating healthy and maintaining a certain weight to height ratio is important to live a healthy lifestyle. What I do not agree with is the board of education intervening. Changing the school menu and limiting the snacks offered in school was a good initiative to make students conscious and more aware of what they are eating, but telling families that their child is overweight is going too far.

Many issues arise when children believe that they are too big and do not fit in with other students. Children can become bullies, victims of bullying, depressed or even develop eating disorders.  According to ABC News, more than 40 percent of nine and ten-year-old girls have already been on a diet. 60 percent of all children between the ages of six and 12 years old are worried about their weight.  We do not need schools to add onto the pressure.

Do Something. Org says that men make up 10-15 percent of the population with anorexia or bulimia. It has been studied by the National Association of Eating Disorders, that causes of eating disorders include psychological, interpersonal and social factors. Schools telling students, and their parents, that they are dangerously overweight and need to lose weight, are a social factor that can easily lead to psychological or interpersonal factors. Let’s not forget about biological factors since these students will eventually hit puberty and experience major changes to their body.

Ultimately, schools need to stay within their boundaries. No one knows why these students may be overweight. It can be health or economical reasons. The students or their parents may just prefer one thing to another. Give help in the areas that you can. Educate students. Do not dictate. Let’s work together to shatter the mirrors of flaws, not build more.

—Email Kimberly at [email protected]

  • Kimberly Fields, Register Reporter