Primary School Children Will Be Weighed And Parents Informed If They Are Obese

by Medindia Content Team on  May 21, 2006 at 3:25 PM Child Health News   - G J E 4
Primary School Children Will Be Weighed And Parents Informed If They Are Obese
In a bid to combat the rising problem of childhood obesity health officials will weigh primary schoolchildren aged four to 10 years and inform their parents if there is a danger that the kids are obese.

The Independent on Sunday reported that ministers have decided to overrule the Children's Commissioner and their own child health officials who are of the opinion that telling parents would affect the children's mental health.

Caroline Flint, the health minister said, "It's about making sure that whatever we do, government supports families to make the right decisions. It is families who first and foremost influence what their children eat and what their children do in terms of exercise."

The Department of Health has issued some guidelines, but feels that children can be very sensitive about the issue, "Children can be very sensitive about their own size and those of children around them. Measuring height and weight could accentuate this sensitivity and increase the risk of stigmatization and bullying."

Dr Fiona Adshead, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer said that they had urged the ministers not to impose this measure, "We had a lot of concerns from child health officials who wanted to caution us against systematically feeding information back to children. The reason they did that is we are not sure we can guarantee effective treatment."

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I personally think it's a terrible idea, it will definetley increase the number of eating disorders in children. Children as young as 7 have been diagnosed with anorexia and i think lots of it is down to this huge pressure from the media about the way people should look. Children, especially at primary school age should not have to worry about their weight. I think weighing the children will make them become obsessed with their weight, shape and size and there would probably be a lot more bullying about the way children look
guest Sunday, May 21, 2006

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