The Globe and Mail published a piece today saying that Toronto schools are issuing BMI testing on a voluntary basis for statistical purposes. Students will only be told their BMI if they ask and parents will not be informed either way.
But the article takes the point that testing the students but not taking the next step of informing parents of the results does little to serve anyone. If your kid had a serious health problem, would you want to know about it? And make no mistake, obesity is a SERIOUS health problem, especially amongst children. Immediate effects include (aside from the societal stigmas attached to your fat kid, which make no doubt, are alive and well and breeding in the minds of torturous playground bullies) diabetes, high cholesterol , risk of heart disease, poor self-esteem. Long term effects can include heart disease, types of cancer, stroke and osteoarthritis. Oh, and don’t forget that self-esteem thing again. The dear precious feelings of your child that you are trying to protect by reassuring them that they are fine just the way they are will come falling in around them sooner or later when they find out that their parents LIED to them.
I saw the link on Facebook this morning with comments calling it a shame tactic and saying that being a dick to the kids won’t resolve anything. Shame on that mentality. It’s this coddling that has wrung this state amongst masses of children who are fed every Chicken McNugget they have ever wanted.
I used to want to eat candy for breakfast and McDonalds every night, too. But my parents were sensible enough to say that’s not really a good idea. Here’s an apple and go ride your bike with your friends. After you do the dishes of course. Cause I was 8 and my parents made me do the dishes and didn’t let me sit on my butt and play video games.
Don’t get me wrong. Your obese child is fine and beautiful and sweet just they way he or she is. But the world won’t see it, and eventually, their insides will collapse into a mess of tragic health issues that could have been prevented and by refusing to admit there is a problem, you as a parent are the one who is roadblocking your child’s future happiness and health.