Letter Calling 6-Year-Old Obese Infuriates Mother

10:52 PM, Nov 3, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida school districts are mandated to assess the health of their students, but a letter sent home to parents about their children's weight is making some angry.

"As a parent, there are things you can do with an overweight child. There are things you can do without telling your child, 'You're obese, or you're overweight,'" said a First Coast mother.  

To protect the identities of her daughters, she asked that we hide her face. But this mom couldn't mask her anger when she received a letter sent home from school labeling her first grader  obese.

The 6-year-old is considered tall for her age at 4 feet 3 inches tall. She's active in sports, but doesn't appear to have a weight issue.

"You have it in black and white and handed to you, and everybody can get ahold of it.  That really really bothered me," she said.  

Twin Lakes Academy sent the letters home with children in the 1st and 3rd grades.  It's part of a state mandated program from the Florida Department of Health, school district spokesperson Jill Johnson said.

School nurses measured the kids Body Mass Index or BMI: which is based on their height, weight, gender, and age. The method is recommended by the CDC, but it didn't pass this mother's sniff test.

MORE: CHECK YOUR CHILD'S BMI

"Every single person's normal is different," she said.  

The letter grouped kids in  one of 4 options: underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.  It then asked parents to address weight concerns noted in the test with their doctor.

"Now they've gotten this letter that says they're obese. Now what if they stop eating," she asked.

She thinks a child's weight should be left up to their parents and their pediatrician, not the school district and the state.

"If those types of people are being labeled that, I don't know what normal could possibly look like," she said.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Coast News

Most Watched Videos