Children and Teens Obesity

Children and Teens Obesity 

Children and Teens Obesity 

Children and Teens Obesity 

Recently, the idea of taking body mass index (BMI) measurements within the school premise for surveillance purposes has gained much attention from school officials, researchers, the media, and legislators. While a considerable number of children across the United States are underweight, a huge number of them are overweight or obese. According to a survey done by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, there were about 13.7 million children between 2 and 19 years suffering from obesity in the US (Sliwa, Brener, Lundeen, & Lee, 2019). While some policy makers support the idea of school-based BMI measurement, others do not. 

One of the biggest reasons for supporting school-based BMI measurement is because many children are suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease due to overweight and obesity. According to Nihiser et al. (2017), the implementation of school-based BMI measurement will help policy makers to identify the number of children that are underweight, healthy, overweigh, and obese in various schools and apply the necessary measures. These measures can include ensuring that children that have unhealthy weight have access to specialized diets and exercise while at school. School administrators can also use the generate information to help parents take care of their through proper diets at home. 

Children and Teens Obesity 

According to Madsen et al. (2020) some institutions and policy makers feel that schools may not provide the necessary environment to ensure privacy and confidentiality while taking the measurements. Many students are very sensitive about their bodies due to the increase of bullying cases among overweight and obese children. Policy makers therefore feel that children with unhealthy weights will be subjected to an unhealthy environment. Most parents also feel that they also have the right to be consulted before their child’ body mass index is measured and they also have the right to decline or accept the initiative. 

The available data is not conclusive as to whether school-based BMI measurement is effective or not. However, it is recommendable that every school have a supportive and safe environment for children of all body weights. 

Children and Teens Obesity 


Madsen, K. A., Thompson, H. R., Linchey, J., Ritchie, L. D., Gupta, S., Neumark-Sztainer, D., … & Ibarra-Castro, A. (2020). Effect of school-based body mass index reporting in California public schools: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA pediatrics.

Nihiser, A. J., Lee, S. M., Wechsler, H., McKenna, M., Odom, E., Reinold, C., … & Grummer‐Strawn, L. (2017). Body mass index measurement in schools. Journal of School Health77(10), 651-671.

Sliwa, S. A., Brener, N. D., Lundeen, E. A., & Lee, S. M. (2019). Do schools that screen for body mass index have recommended safeguards in place?. The Journal of School Nursing35(4), 299-308.

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