Sunday, May 21, 2006

The fat police

All 4 and 10-year-olds are to be weighed and measured at school:
Primary schoolchildren are to be routinely weighed and their parents told if they are obese in a controversial initiative to tackle the worsening health crisis, the Independent on Sunday can today reveal.

Ministers have decided to overrule the Children's Commissioner and their own child health officials, who fear that telling parents the test results will stigmatise some children.

Primary schools are preparing to weigh and measure the height of four- and 10-year-olds during this summer term to help prepare a national "map" of childhood obesity. Individual statistics will only be given to parents who ask for them and no extra help will be offered to children who are found to be overweight or obese.
Apparently: “Parents will be given the right to refuse permission for the child to be tested”. Will children themselves also have the right to refuse, or are they not entitled to any control over what adults do to their bodies? Perhaps we should have compulsory weigh-ins in the workplace, too.

Objections are dismissed by the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee as "absolute nonsense" and "drivel". Heartening to see MPs applying such rigorous standards of debate to expert opinion - perhaps their views on bullying would be instructive?


At Tuesday, May 23, 2006 2:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apart from children and parents (although the 10 year olds are likely to be allowed to witthold the information from their parents) will get to know the information? Are they planning on using them to form statistics? Will the children be forced to allow the information to be passed on to others, such as teachers?


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