Is BMI ever TMI?
January 12, 2012
by Donna Krache
(CNN) As you read this, somewhere in a gym in a school in Georgia, a student may be stepping onto a scale - backward - to comply with state law. Georgia is one of the latest states to mandate that schools track fitness levels and calculate body mass index (BMI) in an effort to combat childhood obesity, and provide parents with reports on their students' physical composition and fitness.
Georgia is second in the nation in childhood obesity; one in three children ages 10-17 is considered overweight or obese in the state, according to its Department of Education. According to Georgia State Rep. Brooks Coleman, the new law is one answer to that problem. Concerned about a trend toward less physical education and recess in state schools, he helped to sponsor HB 229, also known as SHAPE, the Student Health and Physical Education Act, which was passed by the Georgia Legislature and signed by the governor in 2009. Schools begin weighing and measuring students this month. Physical education teachers will ask children to step onto scales and turn around so they don't see their own weight. Their parents will be given calculated information on BMI and fitness levels to share with their kids. Each district will compile its data into a report that is submitted to the governor.
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