A school’s ‘fat letter’ sent home to the mother of an 11-year-old girl has drawn outrage and criticism.
The Florida mom reports that on October 7, 2013, her daughters school sent home a letter in which it claimed that her Body-Mass Index (BMI) was too high.
The girls mother was aware that the school would conduct health screenings but was surprised that they included BMI measurements.
According to Kristen Grasso, “Lily is tall, she’s athletic, she’s solid muscle. By no means is she overweight.”
The schools fat latter upset Grasso because she believes it focuses too much on BMI which can hurt children who are not “fat” but rather athletically built — like her daughter.
The mother says kids may feel that they are overweight and develop psychological issues because of the letter.
There are two schools of thought, the first in which supporters believe schools should help get obesity under control, and another group which thinks parents should be solely responsible for the health and well-being of their kids.
“This whole thing is stupid. It can hurt people. It can break their courage. First, I was hurt. Then, I was angry. Then, I just was concerned,” Grasso told ABC.
Dr. Michael Flaherty, a doctor at Tufts University School of Medicine, told Today.com, “Much of the criticism has centered not only around the letters themselves, but the concept that [BMI] is so erroneous that the childhood obesity epidemic has been overstated.”
In her defense Kristen Grasso says she encourages her children to eat healthy and live an active lifestyle.
Here’s a photo of mother and daughter:
Based on that photo of Lily I would hardly call her fat or exceeding a healthy BMI.
The school’s fat letter has not yet drawn a response from school officials.
Do you think sending out BMI warning letters to parents is a smart educational tool or an overreach of authority by officials?