Should Schools Give Kids Fitness Report Cards?
Body positivity is all over the Internet these days. From body positive blogs to ad campaigns, we have a ton of ways to surround ourselves with badass, body-positive #girlboss energy. But can we say the same about our kids? What if they’re actually being body-shamed by their own schools? We already know that body shaming can make you sick, and this new study of New York City public schools found that it also just doesn’t work.
According to the researchers, many American schools are increasingly trying out “fitness report cards.” Much like an academic report card, students’ BMIs are reported to their parents at the end of the school year. Then, according to the researchers, “Overweight students are notified that their BMI ‘falls outside a healthy weight’ and they should review their BMI with a health care provider.” The premise is that sometimes, parents are unaware of their kids’ unhealthy weight and once they know, they can work with their kids to change habits. But does this kind of thing actually work, or is it just blatant body shaming?
The researchers say it’s closer to the latter. They studied more than 400,000 girls who were at or above the “unhealthy” BMI threshold and found that, on average, reporting girls’ BMIs didn’t mean their BMIs lowered by the next school year. In fact, girls who were labeled “unhealthy” gained an average of 0.17 pounds more than those who were labeled “healthy.”
Turns out, having your weight pointed out by the institution where you’re supposed to be focusing on learning isn’t so great for your health. Shocker!
Would you support fitness report cards? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!
(Photo via David Ramos/Getty)