Obese German children ‘should face’ classroom weigh-ins

Alan Hall:

Germany’s main school teaching body has called for classroom weigh-ins and the enforced removal of ultra-overweight pupils to combat rising obesity in society.
Josef Kraus, the DL teaching federation president, said: “When parents don’t make sure their children eat healthily and get enough exercise, then it can be the beginning of child abuse in extreme cases.” He said school doctors should take a more active role and conduct regular consultations and weight measurements of students. The should also report problem cases to authorities.
“When parental notices about overweight children are thrown to the wind, then youth services must be contacted and as a last resort there should be cuts to their parental benefits or welfare,” Mr Kraus said.
His remarks follow the release of official figures which showed that 51 per cent of Germans are considered overweight. Sixty per cent of men and 43 per cent of women have a Body Mass Index (BMI) – a measure calculated by body weight and height – of more than 25, up from 56 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in 1999.

One thought on “Obese German children ‘should face’ classroom weigh-ins”

  1. I can only begin to imagine the outcry at this if it were even hinted at in the US. “Forced removal” of highly obese children from their parents’ care? Who is most at risk for obesity among US children? Poor and minority youths. Whom would we be removing from their parents’ care because of suspected abuse shown by high-level obesity? Poor and minority children. No way could this go over in the US. We already have far higher placement rates in foster care and removal of parental rights among families of color and low-income families in the US. I suppose a policy like this would make it very very obvious immediately, who has the access to decent (nutritious) food, family meal planning and action time, and local groceries and suppliers of nutritious food.
    I have watched Germany on issues like this for many years now. This astounds me. It smacks of historical problems with eugenics and simply lack of rights for those deemed “deficient”. In this case, it is “deficiency of parenting skills” that is being judged, based on childhood obesity. Wow. Does anybody here remember when there were classroom- and grade-wide weigh-ins in the early 70s in many elementary schools? It was terrible. Everyone (all the other kids) was there, saw if you had gained or lost weight, and now knew your sorest possible personal issue with being “scrawny” or “fat”. My own parents faced suspicion (though not outright accusations) of under-feeding some of us and not limiting intake enough for others, or not forcing them to exercise. I am one of eight children, and there were maybe two “typical” siblings among us all, in terms of weight and size. As adults, a couple of us remain overweight and/or unusually tall, while a couple others remained underweight and/or “tiny” into young adulthood. Body type and personal motivation or enthusiasm for athletics had everything to do with it. Our parents’ parenting skills had little to nothing to do with it.

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