Report Card Says "O" For Obesity - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/19/04-Lufkin

Report Card Says "O" For Obesity

by Jessica Cervantez

A bill being considered by Texas lawmakers would force schools to measure the body mass index of students and include that information on their report cards. The goal is to fight child obesity.

Lunch time is fun time for Lufkin Middle School students. But there is also some serious business going on to fight childhood obesity, schools are trying to encourage children to eat healthier.

Lufkin Middle School Principal Vicki Evans said, "It is something we need to be concerned about and certainly in children, I believe the schools do have a role to play in making sure the students are eating properly and exercising."

The growing number of overweight students is such a concern, Texas lawmakers are taking notice. A newly filed bill would require schools to put the body mass index of students inside their report cards.

Evans said, "I would be opposed to any sort of rating being put to a report card, I don't think it is an appropriate place. I think most parents know if their child is overweight and I think our students know."

Principal Evans believes a child obesity bill could also cause psychological issues. Confidentiality also becomes a concern. She says putting a child's weight on a report card is not the answer to staying healthy.

Evans said, "A child's weight is not indicative of just what happens at school, it is more important of what happens at home."

Instead of using report cards for weight control, Evans would rather make education the key, with students learning weight management skills on their own. She'll be among those watching closely, as the legislature makes a decision on the bill.

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