Parents May Opt Out of School Weigh-Ins

Mandatory BMI reporting laws force parents to walk the fine line between encouraging healthy eating and promoting unhealthy weight loss strategies. You have a choice to Opt Out.
By: MEDA, Multi-service Eating Disorders Association
Nov. 21, 2011 - PRLog -- It’s that time a year again: weigh-ins and BMI (Body Mass Index) screenings for students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 in schools across Massachusetts. BMI reporting laws force parents to walk the fine line between encouraging healthy eating and promoting unhealthy weight loss strategies. As a parent or guardian, you have the choice to opt out, avoiding this process for your child.

The mission of schools is to promote a healthy learning environment for children. Although school health departments have the best interest of their children in mind, mandatory BMI reporting may, in fact, compromise a child’s learning environment. In addition, research has shown that to be weighed and measured with other peers can be not only embarrassing, but degrading for a growing child.  

"As an eating disorders specialist and a mother of three girls, I am very concerned with the policy regarding the mandatory BMI screenings," says Rebecca Manley, founder of MEDA, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. "Not only does BMI reporting place an inappropriate responsibility on schools, but there is also a lack of evidence that this strategy will aid in obesity prevention.  Implementing widespread interventions based on non-existent or limited research findings has the potential to exacerbate severe problems related to disordered eating and poor self-esteem." she adds.

If you are a parent, you have a "right' to opt out of the weigh-ins. Provide a copy of your child's most recent health form with a note to your school nurse or principal saying that you do not want your child weighed. There are many ways to ensure that your child is healthy, weighing them at school is not one of them.

If you would like more information on this release, please contact:
Rebecca Manley, MEDA, 92 Pearl Street, Newton, MA 02458
Tel: (617) 558-1881; email:

To learn more about MEDA:

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MEDA is a non-profit org. dedicated to the education, prevention and treatment of eating disorders based on a model of full recovery. MEDA serves as a support network and resource for clients, loved ones, clinicians, educators and the general public.

MEDA envisions a society that accepts all body types, understands the need for a more diversified approach to care and explores alternative means to allow people to fully recover.
Source:MEDA, Multi-service Eating Disorders Association
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Tags:Multi-service Eating Disorders Association, Body Image, Self Esteem, Bmi, Weigh-in, Body Mass Index, Weight, Obesity
Location:Newton - Massachusetts - United States
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