Childhood obesity is, admittedly, a serious problem in the United States. But shaming kids about their weight is not the solution. And someone needs to tell that to the administrators at an Arizona school, which is congratulating itself for an “innovative” new program, whereby children will be weighed, measured, and if they’re found to be overweight, sent home with a note.
An appalling editorial in the Arizona Daily Star lauds the problematic new program, writing,
“It wouldn’t shock us so much if you didn’t understand that “chubbiness” isn’t necessarily harmless “baby fat.” And maybe you don’t fully comprehend the consequences to your child’s health and well-being if you don’t do all you can to help him or her maintain a healthy weight. That’s why you should be grateful if others, especially those with expertise on the subject of weight, health and nutrition, step in to turn on the lights.”
Parents should be grateful that the school is telling them how to raise their child? Despite the fact that the “note” will almost certainly be stigmatizing and that it will probably be challenging to measure a child’s health based only on his or her weight and height? As Sadie Stein points out on Jezebel, teaching kids about nutrition and exercise is one thing. Telling them that they need to lose weight is quite another.
Photo from Flickr.