Weight on Report Cards?

Recently, there has been talk in Australia that a child's weight should be listen on their report card. Read about it here: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/12/07/3649748.htm

By now, you should all know what I think about this. But, I'm going to say it anyway.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?! The argument of these people is that putting the weight on report cards will make parents aware if their child is obese or overweight. It is thought that this will stop or help to reduce obesity.

And I can see why they think this: parents will get to know their child's weight because they will see it three times a year on the kid's report card. But I also think that the harm that this will do is greater than the benefits. First, how humiliating is it if teachers have to weight each kid in order to report it? That is not the school's job. It is a medical issue and can be dealt with in the context of a doctor's visit.

And what about the comparing that will occur? Kids already compare grades - with this, they will start to compare their weights. And this can cause bullying. Or trigger eating disorders. Low self-esteem. Shame. Embarrassment. Isolation.

Weight is not a school issue. Sure, the school can make healthy food choices available for kids. And they can promote healthy eating and physical activity. But it is NOT their job to put the weight on a child's report card. This makes it seem as though the child is being 'marked' or 'graded' for their weight. The risk is too big. This should not happen.

Obesity is a problem. I am not denying that. But I think it should be dealt with at the doctor's office. Not by putting weights on a report card. Not by promoting the talk of weight and comparisons among children. And just like obesity is an issue, so are eating disorders. So is low self-esteem. So is bullying.

To make a long story short, I don't agree with this. AT ALL. I think people need to think about the pros and cons before they go about deciding or suggesting that policies take place. It's not hard - it is called DECISION MAKING. And wise decision making. When it comes to sensitive issues like body image, we need to be more careful and aware that these are delicate topics - and thus, they must be thought about rationally.

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