Arkansas Led the Nation in Measuring Obesity in Kids. Did It Help?

In Arkansas, sixth-grade students are measured for height, weight, and BMI in schools as part of an anti-obesity initiative. These measurements are sent home to parents in a letter, categorizing students as underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. However, studies have shown that these letters have no effect on weight loss and can lead to weight stigma and eating disorders. Many parents do not know how to act on this information, and the effectiveness of these efforts in reducing childhood obesity is unclear. Critics argue that BMI measurements do not consider cultural nuances and do not provide practical guidance for families.

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