Parents of fat children in California are receiving letters from their children’s schools informing them that little Johnny is not so little. Nine hundred students were reviewed by a nutritionist, and subsequently 200 of those students’ parents got the epistolary warnings. Nutritionist Lauren Schmitt told CBS Los Angeles.’We let the parents know in a gentle fashion, but we also send out a ton of handouts to try to help that family.” By growth charts and percentiles, the data showed which students were at or above the 95th percentile for their weight vis-à-vis their height or age.
Scmitt acknowledged some parents were not happy with the news. She said, “Every year there are a few phone calls from parents who are upset.” But she defended the practice, asserting, “It shouldn’t be a stigma, it’s not a way to categorize someone. It’s just showing that this child has increased risk to be obese as an adult, which then could lead to quite a few chronic diseases.”
19 other states also send such letters; some school districts go so far as to send body mass index test results to parents.