Your kid's getting a B in math -- oh, and he's fat.

According to, Texas school districts would be required to include the body mass index of students as part of their regular report cards under a bill introduced yesterday by a lawmaker seeking to link healthy minds with healthy bodies. :dubious:

The article is short, but the copyright statement prevents me from quoting its entirety: the idea, though, is that when a student is overweight, the school will provide parents with information about links between increased body fat and health problems. A spokesman for the Association for Texas Professional Educators points out that most parents don’t need to be told their child is overweight.


What the hell kind of thinking is this? School isn’t challenging enough for fat kids, now this idiot wants their weight – which has nothing to do with their ability to be good students – to be part of their report card?? Not to mention that it may give some teenage girls one more reason/way to obsess about their weight (carefully watching every point of their BMI number)? :mad: Let the kids’ doctors and parents worry about their weight!

I just throw this out here for some perspective…Texas was specifically mentioned in the article.

I will just throw… :smack:

Don’t assume that all parents are on top of things like this either.

Do Texas school systems even still have some sort of physical education class in the curriculum?

Been happening in other ways for years, I hate to tell you – schools making an issue of kids’ weight.

I was a fat kid, and I mean severely obese, as in 200 lbs before the sixth grade. I knew I was fat, my parents knew I was fat, and my doctor knew I was fat. When I was in fourth grade, there was some class project where each student got weighed, the weight was posted on a chart on the bulletin board, and weights were compared for each student at the beginning of the term and end of the term.

I pitched a damn fit. I was not about to have my weight posted for any and all to snicker about. So the teacher left mine off. I was the only kid with a blank spot next to my name, but I was not about to give my classmates any such info to use to make fun of me for being so fat. Still humiliating, but less so than having 190 posted next to my classmates’ 70 or 80 lbs. (And I’m just guessing at those, as I don’t recall what other fourth-graders weighed, but I do recall that it was less than half what I weighed.)

I’m convinced that the philosophy used in this case is to shame fat kids into losing weight. Well, that doesn’t work. That results in self-esteem issues, body image issues, and eating disorders.

Not a bad idea but a flawed method. BMI is useful when you are talking about large groups of people but is extremely flawed when you are talking about individuals.

I was a 'lil porker too, back in the day. Shame alone won’t work, but shame, coupled with a serious physical education program, eliminating junk food dispensers, getting unhealthy shit out of the cafeteria, and extensive diet education just might.

First off, Lute, AIUI a physical fitness class is required for any Federal education help, and may be a requirement for all schools whether they recieve public aid, or not.

Secondly, what sort of frigging, mind-blown, granola-hyping, twisted, reality-denying, well-it’s-for-their-benefit-really, sadistic thinking makes the idiot behind this bill actually think that public ridicule helps people to build good habits?

Fuck them! Fuck 'em with a goddam fireplug coated with lapping compound!

I have been overweight my whole life, and because of programming since a little kid I honestly have a self-image that doesn’t change no matter what I weigh. Fuck you! Take your self-righteous anti-fat crusade and stick it up your ass, since that’s where you keep your brains anyways! Syphyllitic sycocophants of the cult of body I hope they all suddenly have everyone telling them, daily that they’re eating habits are bad, they weigh too much, and just once they spend a day being judged solely based on how they look. (Assuming, of course, they spend that day being told they don’t measure up to the proper standards, whatever it might be.)

May the toads of Titan come and warp their minds so that they can just once, understand what it’s like to have everyone seeing you trying to exercise ridicule them. May they find all their veggies have been replaced with Oleostra[sup]tm[/sup] look-a-likes. May they be damned to spend a week living only on what they can scrounge in a Krispy Kreme shop. May they trip on the rug of any podium they ever try to mount for any news conference they ever participate in from now until the end of time. May laughter and ridicule follow them for the rest of their days. May their epitaph consist of “Here Lies so-and-so: Ha!” May their funeral music be the song “I finally died and started the whole world living.”

Uhm how does telling the parents make it public? Besides that it isn’t a giant secret when people are fat y’know.

Oh please take some damn responsibility. If your fat becuase of your choices then start making better ones and fix the problem. If you can’t lose weight becuase of some medical problem then get counseling to accept it. Don’t just whine about it and blame other people.

You do realize a lot of peoples eating habits are bad and they weigh too much. If they can’t face that fact they need to either change something and if they can’t change get help to accept it.

[QUOTE=OtakuLokiSecondly, what sort of frigging, mind-blown, granola-hyping, twisted, reality-denying, well-it’s-for-their-benefit-really, sadistic thinking makes the idiot behind this bill actually think that public ridicule helps people to build good habits? [/QUOTE]

How does a note in the report card of a child constitute “public ridicule”?

Not to take Texas’ side (Og forbid!), but a couple of things:

  • Florida schools (or at least ours) sent home a BMI measurement for both of our kids. I guess it could be useful if you’re not sure if your kid is normal or not. It wasn’t that clear to me what the cutoff for “concern” was.

  • Unless I missed something, I don’t see how this is “public ridicule”. Grades aren’t, as far as I know, broadcast to the public, and neither would this be.

I believe that this is done at my son’s school (Arkansas) and I confess that I don’t know what the big deal is. As long as 1) the weight is not being publicly posted and 2) the BMI has no bearing on a student’s pass/failing of classes, what’s the problem?

I’d like to know more about why BMI isn’t a good indicator of health in kids (I see the issues in post-pubescent people due to secondary sex characteristics like breasts)

But it just seems like a bit more info on the kid that the parents get. Like if they include the result of hearing or vision tests on the card- you can be fairly sure parents will read this one document from the school if they ignore all others.

Or are we disagreeing that there’s something wrong with being morbidly obese as a child? If not, what else can be done?

Parroting Yeticus Rex…Exactly.

Alot of parents are ignorant about their child’s weight status (underweight, normal, overweight, obese). Not the jobs of the schools you say? OK. I agree. But what do you expect when you find alot of today’s parents that want their local schools to be their child’s

  1. Chef (via breakfast & lunch programs)
  2. Chauffeur (via school bus)
  3. Babysitter (via after school programs)
  4. Day care service (via pre-school service)
  5. etc. etc. etc.

Strawmen? Maybe. But why all the fuss over printing medical date on a report card when so many parents expect their child’s ass to be wiped @ school?

I’m under the impression that it’s common among schools these days to curttail any sort of gym class in order to meet the standards set in No Child Left Behind. If such is the case in Texas, it takes a hell of a lot of chutzpah to push for adding students’ weight to their report cards if they’re not getting help from the schools!

And everyone else commenting that report cards are not public:

Report cards are not private. They get shared in school all the time and if you’re too far from your own education to remember that, go down to the local high school during grading periods and watch the dynamics.

And if it’s no secret why does the school have to tell anyone that they are fat? Hmm? What’s the point in adding to the fucking pigpile? Or do you really think that people who are overweight do not realize that? And if they do realize it, why the fuck do you think they need more reminders? Hmm…? You just shot your own fucking argument out of the water.

Did I say one goddamned word about saying my weight was someone else’s fault? Get your head out of your self-righteous ass and read what I said: My self-image doesn’t change no matter what I weigh because I’ve been told my whole life I’m fat. So, when I starved myself and ran 4.5 miles a day 4 days a week, was constantly angry, and hungry, and still felt I was too goddamned fat to be seen in polite company, what’s the fucking point? Or to put it another way: now I weigh 350#, and I feel just as healthy as I did when I was 180#. Tell me how the fuck anyone’s health is improved by being constandly told as a kid that they’re fat and useless?

And what’s wrong with sending a seperate note? Or Og-forbid, mailing the information to the parents?

That would be great, if it happened. However, just like we can’t leave it up to parents to educate kids about sex, tolerance, or diversity, we also can’t assume that a parent will educate their child about proper nutrition and weight management.

That is assuming that the parent even recognizes that the child is fat: The British Medical Journal reported that a quarter of parents of overweight kids thought their kid was “about right.” (article).

Unlike everything else on your list, shame does not help anyone lose weight so lets not go around shaming our children, all right?

Well, just to look at the other side of the issue:

When I was in highschool, my BMI was 13. It probably would have behoved both me and my parents if they had been made aware of that.

I’m just sayin’, is all…


I think it’s a waste of time, and this whole “oh it’ll be anonymous” thing is garbage. Of course kids compare report cards. And shame never made anybody drop a pound.

And I really don’t see how this is going to help things. PE is a joke, if they even have it at all. I can remember an announcement being made in high school to encourage kids to eat lunch and we were informed that today’s lunch had “only” 1400 calories.

We can’t expect schools to be food nazis, but they could revamp the cafeteria a bit. Every day at my school, lunch was a starch fest. I don’t even want to know how many grams of carbs and saturated fats were in the average slice of pizza. We had the regular lunch line, the junk food line, and the bar line. Sometimes the bar was a salad bar, but on some days it was baked potatoes or something else.

In short, I think if schools are really serious about helping kids get off excess weight, they need to first look at the food they’re shoving at them, and also what these kids are doing in PE class. Give kids a choice and of course they’re going to eat Suzy Q’s and drink a Coke for lunch every day. I’m not super anal about what my daughter eats, but if I found out that’s what she was having for lunch every day there would be repercussions.

I’m all about moderation, but until kids get a bit older I don’t think most of them can be trusted to make their own decisions for lunch. Especially if Mom and Dad eat nothing but junk at home. I’m all for them being able to make their own food choices, but not when the choices are Junk A, Junk B, or Junk C.

One thing that needs to be done with PE is get rid of all those sillyass games. I hated PE in school and I doubt I got much exercise playing dodgeball. I would have LOVED a gym environment: go to PE, the teacher tells you how many minutes of activity you have to do and then you can pick between the treadmill, lifting weights, rowing machine, or you can go play basketball in the gym.

I want to make this clear - my objection is with passing this information on through the report card, a notoriously insecure form of comminication. I’ll accept that such information may well be useful and helpful for families.

Of course, I have a long-standing distrust of the competence of any school administered health test. After I ran my bike into the garage wall my parents took me to see an eye doctor, and found out I needed glasses. Of course, what they later found out was that I’d flunked the annual eyesight exam several times before the nurse administering the test managed to get a proper response from me. Tell me again why you trust the schools to do a BMI any more properly?