070424 BMI on Kids Report Cards
Now I am not a fan of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a hard fast rule, I do believe it can help ‘flag’ kids as having potential weight problems.
While some people believe that putting the score on the report card is a little tough, I tend to disagree. If a child is failing math, he/she (with the help of their parents) has to do something about it. The BMI is not nearly as clean cut as math problems, but the adequate action by the parents is: Find out if your child is at risk (either overweight OR underweight). If the BMI doesn’t apply to them because of their body type (athletic/muscular people can show up as ‘overweight’, as can very tall thin people), disregard the information and congratulate your child for being special.
It is time for us to leave behind the “don’t hurt the child’s feelings” ideas, and start preparing them for the REAL WORLD. Obesity, heart disease and insulin resistance (Type II diabetes) are where our children are headed. These (and many more health issues) are the price that children will pay for a ‘good body image’ at the risk of being healthy. They are the prices we will all pay in health care costs. It is the job of our educators and parents to protect our children and to teach them that ultimately THEY will be responsible for their health, not the government, not the advertisers, not the food itself.
As far as eating disorders go. . . these stem from ignorance and lack of education. Kids develop eating disorders from bad body image when they lack the knowledge and tools to understand their body and what healthy options are available to them. Educators and parents have to step it up and get themselves educated and be ready to step in before the child gets to the point of developing an eating disorder.
We tried the ‘sheltering’ thing with the “everybody is special and important”. The “No Child Left Behind” thing is lowering standards and hurting the kids that would excel. This stuff is not working. It is time for adults to start ‘preparing’ kids for adulthood with all of it’s challenges and tribulations. We need to teach them that ‘responsibility’ and ‘hard work’ are not just essay topics from a Ernest Hemingway short story.