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Arizona School Sends Overweight Kids Home With Notes

Arizona School Sends Overweight Kids Home With Notes

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.

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186 comments

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1:10PM PDT on May 21, 2015

Thank you Amelia.

9:00PM PDT on Mar 28, 2015

So it is okay to educate with lip service but do not attempt to take any kind of action with that education to reinforce it? Hmmm. "So we can tell, but don't try to teach, by putting into practice, what you actually preach."

6:00PM PDT on Mar 28, 2015

Got to love wiki-leaks....The index was devised by a gentleman by the name Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing what he called "social physics", between 1830 and 1850.

8:36AM PDT on May 21, 2013

I'm beginning to wonder about a lot of those in charge in Arizona!

7:18AM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

OK, now someone is saying that, by doing this, the schools do not care about our children. I think its the opposite. The schools care enough to WANT to do something the parents can't or won't. Some people are lazy and don't care. Others might appreciate a note, with some help and advice on how to help their child. You can't please everyone, but I think if done discreetly through a note, in an envelope no one sees, or request a private conference, whats the harm? I think some parents would welcome the help.

7:09AM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

So some of you are bitching about the brats that pick on other kids. Imagine what their life will be like if they continue to get fatter. Forget the health problems for a moment, but if someone is going to be bullied for being overweight, nothing is going to stop these nasty bullies, and things will just get worse. My son is being picked on for things other than his weight, so I know bullying. It sucks. A discreet note home could be helpful.

We see people complaining all they can afford is McDonalds, yet continue having child after child after child after child, KNOWING they can only afford McDonalds. How is THAT ok??


And now people are saying schools should educate and not shame????? WFT. They ARE educating about good nutrition. Perhaps adults should also start educating them,selves on good nutrition. Everyone wants to blame the bullies, and the school. Put the blame anywhere except where it belongs.

Now they also need to remove the soda and candy machines from the schools too. Junk food CAN be addicting, thats a know fact. We need to get to the kids in grade school. Come middle and high school. they are surrounded but junk food vending machines. THAT should be a crime.

6:57AM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

Notes are sent home all the time with kids to give their parents. Most of the time its not known to anyone but the teacher and child involved, whats in the note. It might be a wake up call to the parents who feed their child nothing but junk and let them sit in front of the tv all day. Clearly something needs to be done. The problem of childhood obesity is at ridiculous numbers, as with that all the diseases that go along with it are up. Diabetes, high blood pressure etc. How is it fair to the children. Its known that they are overweight. One can see it with their own eyes. The teachers the other kids the child himself AND the parents. If it helps some kids and parents get a handle on it then great. YES do it.

I guess we are then to stop sending ANY notes home for fear it will hurt their little feelings. So no more notes home about bad behavior. Lets just keep allowing that. No more notes home about failing grades. That would hurt little feelings as well. Get over it people. Look at what we are doing to our children. They are not growing up to learn how things are in the REAL world, and THAT should be scarier than ANY note that can be send home to limit the number of Twinkies one eats.

Let them get a handle on the weight NOW or they face a lifetime of ridicule and poor health. This IS NOT out of line. Stop whining and do something to help the children.

Green stars for Jess S.!!

3:26AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Geez... send out a general letter indicating that some children are overweight and a recommended eating plan for a child their age - fine... but targeting individual children in such a negative manner is disgusting. I disagree with this totally. School is hard enough with all the other little brats picking on you for some thing or another if you don't fit into their picture perfect ideal without the school itself picking on you too

7:21PM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

Many parents aren't aware of the problem, but send them a note is not gonna help. It must have another way of helping those kids. Honestly, let it on parents hands ins't working, otherwise we our kid wouldn't be developing diabetes. Furthermore, we are the number one country in the world in terms of obesity. So, yes, the schools should be doing something about it.

2:39PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

Interesting article, thank you.

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