School tells mother that her 4-year-old daughter is overweight : "She's not!" responds mom furiously
April 25, 2022
Children's health must come first and parents knows that they must be attentive to various factors in order to safeguard it. Nutrition is certainly an aspect to keep under control from the very first moment in which the child is able to eat and digest anything. Unfortunately, it is easy to fall into the temptation of having ready-to-eat foods and snacks, as well as fast-food, but you need to pay attention to what the little ones eat. Lauren Ormesher is a mom who knows what she is doing when it comes to her daughter's well-being, which is why she was stunned when she received a letter from the school which reported that her little Maggie, just 4 years old, was considered to be overweight.
When she read the message from the school, Lauren Ormesher must have thought: "Are they kidding?" Her daughter Maggie is only 4 years old and is a very active child, who does dance lessons every week and who even participates in beauty contests for children. Lauren learned that several other children at Maggie's school had also received the same message and all of them did not appear to have children who were overweight or at risk at all. What was the problem then, exactly? Apparently, following a body mass index (BMI) weight check performed at school, there was an discrepancy between the mass and height variables.
"I was very shocked because she is a very healthy child and seeing the word 'overweight' sounded crazy," said Lauren, adding that such messages from a school could do great damage to the children's parents and the children themselves.
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure that uses height and weight to determine if a person's weight is in the healthy range. For Lauren and many other parents, this is an abstract mathematical calculation, which most of the time does not translate into a meaningful facts or accurate data. Maggie, in fact, doesn't look overweight at all, despite the BMI suggesting otherwise.
Lauren's concern is that some parents may now feel as though they have "failed" to raise their children properly and will start putting them on strict diets. Such young children may also develop eating, or even mental, disorders after school if parents force them to go on a diet.
Lauren's concern is real: "There are alternative methods for keeping children healthy rather than weight control. The BMI method measures your weight relative to your height. Most medical professionals say it's not an accurate system; in fact, it can be rather harmful: it ends up telling healthy kids that they are overweight or, even worse, obese. Many parents are worried, especially with sixth year boys who are old enough to understand what is going on. One of the little girls who got the letter is a gymnast; this is all very worrying ".
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council Director of Public Health, however, reassured everyone: "This is one of the services we provide to support families with children aged 0-19, and it helps to ensure young people maintain a healthy weight and have active lives. Body mass index (BMI) is one of many indicators of people's health, but each case is different and we would like to encourage all concerned parents to contact their school nursing teams for help and support."
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