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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.

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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.

Absolutely not.

– “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.”

Horrible idea.

– “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!

Share your comments below

  • I don’t think this is a good idea at all. Kids are already have low self confidence and this could really damage their self esteems

    Reply

  • Parents see their children every day and often don’t notice weight loss which could be a lot more concerning than weight gain.
    If a medical team do it and records are stored confidentally It may help pick up illnesses and treatment started earlier. Strangely some children will tell the Dr. where something hurts but won’t tell their parents. Some parents take the attitude that the kid has knocked into or fallen over something and won’t be sore in a week or so.

    Reply

  • Nah, school is not the place to have our kids weighed.

    Reply

  • It’s disgusting that schools are now thinking of doing this. It has nothing to do with learning and it is something that the parents or their doctors should only be allowed to do. Things are getting ridiculous. I know if my boys were still at school I wouldn’t send them on a day this was being done. What next?

    Reply

  • Apalling idea. I was weighed in class in Grade 6 and left totally humiliated. Other classmates heard my weight, and although I didn’t understand what the number of kilograms meant, I then suffered snide comments and bullying from then on. It’s not the job of schools to track obesity. Many primary school kids have not yet hit puberty and had a growth spurt. My son went from a solid, short boy who was picked on to a 17 year old with abs who is now taller than me. People often say “remember when you were short and chubby”? Yes, you told him enough. Now, he is not that child at all, thanks to puberty and a growth spurt.

    Reply

  • I agree that something should be done about the problem, but I’m sure it can be done without having to weigh kids in front of their peers. Encourage healthy eating at school and more physical exercise, perhaps even raise concerns with parents, who should be doing something about the problem if there is one. This is coming from someone who was a fat kid and suffered bullying.

    Reply

  • Surely this is a health issue and therefore sits best with a GP. Educators surely have a heavy workload already without another layer! Teach health and wellbeing; but leave monitoring and maintaining to a GP.


    • The overwhelming NO response to this proposal is surely the best indicator!

    Reply

  • Definitely can lead to anxiety and bullying. They don’t need to worry about these things so young

    Reply

  • If they do start this i will be opting my child out
    My child has a dr for a reason, a teacher for a reason

    Reply

  • I find this new rule quite unnecessary!

    Reply

  • I agree that this is a role for parents and doctors, not schools.

    Reply

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