PA Schools Mandate Body Mass Calculations

Martha Raffaele:

As they wait for their children’s first report card to come home this year, elementary-school parents across Pennsylvania also can expect to receive a separate report on a key indicator of their children’s health.
In an effort to combat childhood obesity, the state Health Department is requiring school nurses to compute students’ body-mass index – or height-to-weight ratio – during annual growth screenings, starting this year with children in kindergarten through fourth grade.
Parents will receive letters about the results that will encourage them to share the information with their family physician. The letters will explain whether the BMI is above, below, or within the normal range for the child’s age and gender.