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BODY MASS INDEX -- SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAMS

Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools -- Childhood Overweight

Measuring the body mass index (BMI) of students in schools is an approach to address obesity that is attracting much attention across the nation from researchers, school officials, legislators, and the media.1-7 In 2005, the Institute of Medicine called upon the federal government to develop guidance for BMI measurement programs in schools.8 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced "Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools" to describe the purpose of school-based BMI surveillance and screening programs, examine current practices, and review research on BMI measurement programs. The article summarizes the recommendations of experts, identifies concerns surrounding programs, and outlines needs for future research. Guidance is provided on specific safeguards that need to be addressed before schools decide to collect BMI information.

Executive Summary: Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools [pdf-1.6MB]

The full journal article is available from the American School Health Association Web site.*

Suggested Citation: Nihiser AJ, Lee SM, Wechsler H, McKenna M, Odom E, Reinold C, Thompson D, Grummer-Strawn L. Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools. Journal of School Health. 2007;77(10):651671.

References

  1. Crawford PB, Woodward-Lopez G, Ikeda JP. Weighing the risks and benefits of BMI reporting in the school setting. Center for Weight and Health; 2006. Available at: http://nature.berkeley.edu/cwh/PDFs/BMI_report_cards.pdf* [pdf-116K].  Accessed August 7, 2006.
     
  2. Scheier LM. School health report cards attempt to address the obesity epidemic. J Am Diet Assoc. 2004;104(3):341344.
     
  3. Ikeda JP, Crawford PB, Woodward-Lopez G. BMI screening in schools: helpful or harmful. Health Educ Res. 2006;21(6):761769.
     
  4. Johnson A, Ziolkowski GA. School-based body mass index screening program. Nutr Today. 2006;41(6):274279.
     
  5. Kantor J. As obesity fight hits cafeteria, many fear a note from school. New York Times; January 9, 2007.
     
  6. The Associated Press. Arkansas to flunk obesity report cards. The Associated Press; February 5, 2007.
     
  7. Scheier LM. Potential problems with school health report cards. J Am Diet Assoc. 2004;104(4):525527.
     
  8. Institute of Medicine. Preventing childhood obesity: Health in the balance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2005.
Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.
 
 

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