Australian children could soon have their height and weight measured and recorded at school.
That is unless parents chose to “opt out” of the checks under a new proposal to tackle Australia’s worsening obesity crisis.
Checks would be done at school for all children every two years to better help the government understand the real scope of Australia’s “obesity epidemic”.
Height and weight checks would be done at schools by medical professionals and the data collected for research and policy purposes.
It would be a simple check on the scales and a height measurement, rather than waist measurements.
Children would not be told their results, to avoid kids comparing results in the schoolyard, and the statistics would not be connected to a child’s name but rather used as part of an age group for broader analysis.
Public Health Association of Australia chief executive Terry Slevin welcomed the proposal if the checks were conducted in a “very routine” way.
“It can’t be about stigmatising or embarrassing kids. It has to be about getting accurate information about a very real public health problem,” he said.
We asked our MoM’s what they thought about the new proposal
The consensus of the poll was a flat NO – this is not something that should be happening at schools.
– “Teachers are not medical professionals. Height & weight should be monitored by the GP who has the appropriate skills, knowledge & resources to refer kids & parents to appropriate services if required and also make sure it’s not caused by underlying issues.”
– “No way it was horrible as a bigger kid at school.”
Bullying is already a massive issue.
– “No way, I send my kids to school to be educated. Bullying is a massive issue as it is without kids now copping shit for their weight. My son in primary school was a bit chubby, always ate healthy and played a sport. Now in year 8 has grown taller and thinned out. He copped enough crap from his peers being chubby as it was, no child should be humiliated like this.”
Parents and doctors role not school.
– “This is a parental responsibility with the support of medical professionals if needed.”
– “I don’t think schools are appropriate places to discuss medical things. I do believe that just like adults children should have a once a year physical check up at the doctors where these problems can be addressed.”
Perth Schools are making changes like the ‘anti-cotton wool’ approach and encouraging kids to get out and play. Isn’t this the answer to beat the obesity crisis? Much better option than weighing and measuring kids!
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