schools will inform parents of their child's weight in an attempt to
deal with the growing issue of obesity, according to an announcement by
the Department of Health (DoH).
of children aged 4-5 are overweight or obese, with that
figure growing to nearly 32% for children aged 10-11. Standard
procedures in schools involve weighing and measuring children in
schools to determine their body mass index
(BMI). The information is passed on to the National
Health Service (NHS) to determine the extent of obesity in the
soon be sent a letter of their child's weight,
including advice on what to do if the child is overweight. However,
government ministers have ruled that "offensive" language, such as
"obese" or "fat" will not be allowed to be used in the letters, with
words such as "overweight" being used instead.
will provide useful information to parents, such as the problems caused
by obesity like diabetes,
and how to overcome these problems. Research has shown that parents
often do not realise their child is overweight, and the letters will be
a "wake-up call" to them.
"We have to
get the balance right between being a nanny state and a
neglectful state," said Will Cavendish, the director of health and
wellbeing at the DoH.
August 5, 2008