In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

In the beginning

Posted by Dr. Susan on January 7, 2007

In the olden days, as my kids call them, no-one gave much thought to the idea that what they ate might be killing them and how quickly, whether they were parenting their kids “correctly”, or to being in a relationship with someone that would satisfy them on many different levels, other than the basic few: would he be a good provider? Would she keep a good home and be a good mom? And is s/he good in bed–well, maybe not even that–most people didn’t think of that until it was too late. But now we know better–in fact, we know so much that we don’t know what to worry about first! And in case we’re not worrying about something, there’s someone out there worrying for us…or at least making us feel guilty that we’re not worrying enough.

An article in today’s NY Times discusses the trend, in many states,  towards sending home BMI (body mass index) report cards for overweight children. Parents and children are outraged–and, I think, in denial–the children receiving them are, likely significantly overweight. But, of course, the question is whether it is the schools business to be getting involved? In my opinion NO–until schools start serving decent food in the cafeteria, in snack shops, at “bake sales” and at in class birthday parties, then it seems incredibly hypocritical to be sending home these slap on the wrist report cards. What’s more, the No Child Left Behind Act, has greatly reduced time for physical activity in many schools, making it even more difficult for kids to find time to be healthy in school which is where they spend most of their day. Maybe parents should be sending report cards to schools instead of the other way around.

One Response to “In the beginning”

  1. isabella said

    i totally agree. i also really think this is an invasion of privacy. it would be much, much better when schools instilled a culture of living healthy. and many of us parents know that that can be done – we’ve all met teachers who live their commitment to healthy living, and are wonderful role models. my 10-year-old daughter’s current teacher, for example, makes time in her curriculum for three half-hour aerobic exercise sessions each week. one a year they have a healthy eating month, where they really push healthy food. but to get a report card with a “bad” BMI on it??? i would protest that vehemently. but then up here in canada, i’m not sure we would do that.

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