Report: 'Fat Letters' Necessary to Fight Childhood Obesity

Letters to parents of children with high BMI are needed to fight the obesity epidemic, report says.

A new report says schools that notify parents of their children's body mass index values can help fight adolescent obesity.

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But some still say the data collection ostracizes children and could bring the potential for an increase in bullying and the number of children with eating disorders.

However, in Arkansas, a state where the screenings have been most studied, surveys of parents, children and school officials do not show negative consequences associated with the program over four years. In fact, the surveys found that more parents began signing their children up for sports or exercise classes and showed improvement in family diets and nutrition.

"No parent would be proud to receive a letter stating their child is in the overweight or obese category" but acknowledgement that there could be a problem helps families move toward a change sooner, Flaherty writes. "It is time to put aside this pride for the future of our children's health."

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