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(Patch)   MA schools are sending parents "fat letters" telling them their kids are obese   (northandover.patch.com) divider line 158
    More: Weird, North Andover, fat letters, percentiles, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, school nurse, DPH, BMI, fat  
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5660 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Feb 2013 at 8:58 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-25 09:25:04 PM
Dear parent/guardian/enabler:

You lose -1 Internets because you're kid haz hadz cheezburgerz.

LOL http://www.fatkidzsuck.com

Signed,
A Fan
 
2013-02-25 09:25:56 PM

BarkingUnicorn: meat0918: Mugato: I was always told that I was too skinny by everyone when I was a kid, why is it unacceptable to  call someone out as being a fat fark? Especially when being fat is more unhealthy than being skinny?

Because fat is the new normal.

It is now abnormal to be of a healthy weight.  Skinny is the out group, fat is the in group, and you're going to get ganged up on if you dare tell someone they might be leading an unhealthy lifestyle.

You mean like saying, "You're gonna go to Hell if you don't accept my God?"


Little-known fact: The Founders meant to include "Freedom to be a chunk" in the Bill of Rights along with religion, they just forgot.
 
2013-02-25 09:26:15 PM
As someone with a glandular problem that results in big bones and a slow metabolism, I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

/But only one kick, because I'll get winded
 
2013-02-25 09:26:29 PM

codergirl42: Dear, Mr. & Mrs. Fats we regret to inform you that you have failed as a parent.  Based on the flawed BMI scale we have determined your kid is fat. PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATLY.


It sounds like you have a serious problem with the BMI scale, unfortunately it is not thatwrong.

I agree the BMI system is inherantly flawed, however the factors that throw it off are not dominant in children.  It is easy to exceed your reccomended weight if you are a bodybuilder with a low body fat percentage.

Most kids are not going to have heavy muscular development.  In this same way, if you excercise enough to break the curve, you already know you are ok without needing BMI to tell you that you are.  The real problem here is fat people who would like to believe that they are part of that big boned or low body-fat percentage group that does not fit the curve.  See also: parents who don't want to believe that their snowflake is a porker.

If you get a letter like this, you should discuss it with your kids pedeatrician.  They  can tell you what the drill is, and I will bet you a shockingly large amount of money that the overwhelming majority of cases are a result of little timmy eating too much and not moving enough.

/I have never met an in-shape person with strong feelings about things like BMI or weight standards.
//As someone responsible for ensuring the weight standards in my unit were applied appropriately, I did encounter a lot of people who were Convinced that even though they were over their weight limit; that they fell into the low body fat exemption.
///...They did not
 
2013-02-25 09:26:40 PM

CoonAce: I just hope the school is feeding the children a steady diet of milk, ketchup, bread, potatoes, and sugar each and every day.

codergirl42:

What a fatty based on the BMI scale might look like.

[shechive.files.wordpress.com image 500x689]

You sound fat.


Yes I have struggled with weight my whole life. And having a school to get my mom to harass me about it wouldn't help. I was an active kid and involved in sports but still was heavy. At my heaviest(as an adult) I wieghed 260, I've lost 70 of that and continue to lose more.
 
2013-02-25 09:27:52 PM
Hmm. What's interesting to me is the reaction the parents will have when they get this letter.

In my district-I'm a teacher-administrators are terrified of parents and any possible litigation.  This is b/c schools in most rural areas, at least in Oregon, cannot possibly provide all the services required by law, and still give kids the education they need. So, we fly by the seat of our pants and patch holes as they present themselves.

A letter telling parents their kid is fat would motivate already frustrated parents to retaliate, and if parents begin to look, they are sure to find legit grievances.

My guess is this was mandated by someone with no true knowledge of what is currently going on in American classrooms.
 
2013-02-25 09:30:46 PM

The WindowLicker: codergirl42: Dear, Mr. & Mrs. Fats we regret to inform you that you have failed as a parent.  Based on the flawed BMI scale we have determined your kid is fat. PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATLY.

It sounds like you have a serious problem with the BMI scale, unfortunately it is not thatwrong.

I agree the BMI system is inherantly flawed, however the factors that throw it off are not dominant in children.  It is easy to exceed your reccomended weight if you are a bodybuilder with a low body fat percentage.

Most kids are not going to have heavy muscular development.  In this same way, if you excercise enough to break the curve, you already know you are ok without needing BMI to tell you that you are.  The real problem here is fat people who would like to believe that they are part of that big boned or low body-fat percentage group that does not fit the curve.  See also: parents who don't want to believe that their snowflake is a porker.

If you get a letter like this, you should discuss it with your kids pedeatrician.  They  can tell you what the drill is, and I will bet you a shockingly large amount of money that the overwhelming majority of cases are a result of little timmy eating too much and not moving enough.

/I have never met an in-shape person with strong feelings about things like BMI or weight standards.
//As someone responsible for ensuring the weight standards in my unit were applied appropriately, I did encounter a lot of people who were Convinced that even though they were over their weight limit; that they fell into the low body fat exemption.
///...They did not


I actually don't have strong feelings about the BMI scale one way or the other, but I'm just pointing out it's not the most accurate system. I just don't think it's the schools place to tell parents their raising fatties.
 
2013-02-25 09:31:09 PM
dilbert.com
 
2013-02-25 09:31:52 PM
I'm about as libertarian as they come and normally wouldn't hear of the state doing such things but.....

My missus is a Master's trained school nurse, and it's her job to screen the kids and send out the dreaded "fat letters."

A couple of points. MA might be an exception, but in most places these letters only go out to families where the kid is morbidly obese. A little chub or a roll of baby fat does not get this response. I'm aware of 200lb 2nd graders.

The parents often really, truly, do not have a clue there is a problem. This usually happens when the 'rents are plus size themselves.

For the kids this is an often a way to get their parent to give them the help the kids want. Many of these kids are a lot more aware of the problem than their parents.

If the school is -whether it ought to be or not is debatable and not the question here- in the public health business, then they have to protect themselves by identifying such obvious (and lawsuit ripe) problems and demonstrate a willingness to help.

If you can look at a 200lb 8 yer old and not want to help them parent's rights be dammed then you deserve to be beaten to death with a copy of Atlas Shrugged. These are kids dagnabbit and if their parents are that friggin' dumb then somebody oughtta do something.
 
2013-02-25 09:32:19 PM
*opens letter*

"OMG my son's fat, i had no idea!!1!!1"
 
2013-02-25 09:33:45 PM
I'm heavy now, and I admit that(40 pounds approx) but for my entire childhood and youth, I seemed to have a little weight on my peers(My limbs were thicker, but I wasn't fat and when weight came I, I weighed moreEven now, most women my weight would not pull it off like I do, I seem to have higher than average muscleand it keeps the fat somewhat in check.I've been physically active my whole life, never owning a car.
 
2013-02-25 09:34:55 PM

dj_bigbird: Wow, people are still using BMI to evaluate an individual's health? What's next? Phrenology?


Yes, BMI is horribly unfair to all of the kids over 2meters tall and all of the body builders.
 
2013-02-25 09:35:02 PM

The WindowLicker: codergirl42: Dear, Mr. & Mrs. Fats we regret to inform you that you have failed as a parent.  Based on the flawed BMI scale we have determined your kid is fat. PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATLY.

It sounds like you have a serious problem with the BMI scale, unfortunately it is not thatwrong.

I agree the BMI system is inherantly flawed, however the factors that throw it off are not dominant in children.  It is easy to exceed your reccomended weight if you are a bodybuilder with a low body fat percentage.

Most kids are not going to have heavy muscular development.  In this same way, if you excercise enough to break the curve, you already know you are ok without needing BMI to tell you that you are.  The real problem here is fat people who would like to believe that they are part of that big boned or low body-fat percentage group that does not fit the curve.  See also: parents who don't want to believe that their snowflake is a porker.

If you get a letter like this, you should discuss it with your kids pedeatrician.  They  can tell you what the drill is, and I will bet you a shockingly large amount of money that the overwhelming majority of cases are a result of little timmy eating too much and not moving enough.

/I have never met an in-shape person with strong feelings about things like BMI or weight standards.
//As someone responsible for ensuring the weight standards in my unit were applied appropriately, I did encounter a lot of people who were Convinced that even though they were over their weight limit; that they fell into the low body fat exemption.
///...They did not


Bingo...he only people who get torqued about BMI or other methods are fat asses who are looking for a free pass to eat another deep fried Twinkie.

Fine, BMI is flawed and your "sample size of one" argument wins...of course heart disease and hypertension don't give a damn, so good luck with that "skinny".
 
2013-02-25 09:35:25 PM
Dear Parent(s),

How are you? We are fine. You're kid is fat. And smelley. Please come git them. We've got way too many fatties any way. If you dont git your kid we are going to sell him slash her into slavery. They will make t-shirts n Mexico that they'll never be thin enough to wear. Ha! ha!

Sincerely you'ren,

The Skool.
 
2013-02-25 09:39:42 PM

lack of warmth: I recall having my sight and hearing checked a few times at school by outside personnel, so the article didn't say who actually determined the BMI of the students.  If they are going to check the kids' health out, nothing new in public schools, atleast they only sent letters to the house.  Imagine if they announced the 'fat letters' in front of the whole school, not that kids need to be told who's fat.

Public schools will always stick their noses into the health and well-being of the kids, because there are a lot of families that barely know how to raise them.  Intrusive, sure, necessary, in some cases it is.  I recall having classmates that weren't the healthiest or hygienic.  Usually, schools keep things like that hushed and only in between them and the parents.  Here is a thought, don't make it public knowledge and no one would know about the letter.


Walking around this planet I have noticed that a LOT of people don't seem to know that that themselves are fat (based on the way they dress and/or talk about there weight). Heck, I've seen doctors describe people 60 -75lbs overweight as "slightly overweight" or "well nourished" (I deal with medical docs a lot).
I doubt these people would acknowledge that their children are fat. Sometimes you do need to smack folks upside the head with the information.
 
2013-02-25 09:40:49 PM

part of the problem: I'm about as libertarian as they come and normally wouldn't hear of the state doing such things but.....

My missus is a Master's trained school nurse, and it's her job to screen the kids and send out the dreaded "fat letters."

A couple of points. MA might be an exception, but in most places these letters only go out to families where the kid is morbidly obese. A little chub or a roll of baby fat does not get this response. I'm aware of 200lb 2nd graders.

The parents often really, truly, do not have a clue there is a problem. This usually happens when the 'rents are plus size themselves.

For the kids this is an often a way to get their parent to give them the help the kids want. Many of these kids are a lot more aware of the problem than their parents.

If the school is -whether it ought to be or not is debatable and not the question here- in the public health business, then they have to protect themselves by identifying such obvious (and lawsuit ripe) problems and demonstrate a willingness to help.

If you can look at a 200lb 8 yer old and not want to help them parent's rights be dammed then you deserve to be beaten to death with a copy of Atlas Shrugged. These are kids dagnabbit and if their parents are that friggin' dumb then somebody oughtta do something.


Pretty much agree with everything - except my kids have to have an annual physical for school.  No 8 yr old goes from normal to 200 lb in twelve months, so why aren't the docs picking this up?  From a lawsuit perspective wouldn't the primary physician be easier & riper [should that be fatter] pickings to go after?
 
2013-02-25 09:40:59 PM

rockin_science: Hmm. What's interesting to me is the reaction the parents will have when they get this letter.

In my district-I'm a teacher-administrators are terrified of parents and any possible litigation.  This is b/c schools in most rural areas, at least in Oregon, cannot possibly provide all the services required by law, and still give kids the education they need. So, we fly by the seat of our pants and patch holes as they present themselves.

A letter telling parents their kid is fat would motivate already frustrated parents to retaliate, and if parents begin to look, they are sure to find legit grievances.

My guess is this was mandated by someone with no true knowledge of what is currently going on in American classrooms.


Sounds to me that they know more about what's going on in American classrooms and cafeterias than your cover-your-legal-ass shiatty school system.

Maybe you haven't heard...but this country seems too have a bit of an obesity problem...some say this might start to manifest itself in childhood obesity...

News at 11.
 
2013-02-25 09:43:14 PM

codergirl42: I actually don't have strong feelings about the BMI scale one way or the other, but I'm just pointing out it's not the most accurate system. I just don't think it's the schools place to tell parents their raising fatties.


I am sorry, 15 messages into the thread and you had already posted 5 times.  I thought more than 2 of them were railing against the BMI, but in retrospect it was not your main point.

On the other hand, it absolutely is the responsiblity of the school to do this if they have a medical professional on hand.  Just like my school did basic eye tests to make sure the kids who needed glasses to see had them, it is the responsiblity of the school to ensure that the parents know that they are damaging their kids.

There are non diet/excercise related causes of obesity, but those have other serious health risks.  A large percentage of the time, it is simply a matter of poor diet.  If you feed your kids a lot of soda and fast food, they are going to be fat.  Chances are good that they are fat because you are fat and you have passed your poor lifestyle choices on to them.

As a somewhat libertarian leaning American, I can still support this because it does not require the parents to carry out any action, and because I do not like to see my healthcare system burdened down by health conditions caused by simple obesity.
 
2013-02-25 09:44:14 PM
When do the 'ugly' and 'stupid' letters go out?
 
2013-02-25 09:44:18 PM
Sad that my school didn't send letters out like that when I was a kid.  I wasn't fat, just a bully.  Nothing says "Kick this kid's ass!" like a bunch of kids getting letters from the school calling them fat.  Especially after calling them fat all year long, then they get a letter from the school saying that they are fat.  Kill their self esteem and bullying becomes so much easier.
 
2013-02-25 09:44:56 PM
All the kids, or just the fat ones?
 
2013-02-25 09:45:17 PM
ACunningPlan:

Pretty much agree with everything - except my kids have to have an annual physical for school.  No 8 yr old goes from normal to 200 lb in twelve months, so why aren't the docs picking this up?  From a lawsuit perspective wouldn't the primary physician be easier & riper [should that be fatter] pickings to go after?

You're likely right, but having been a school administrator, you HAVE NO IDEA how lawsuit paranoid schools are. I never did, but I could totally see sending a letter like this just so I could put a copy in the kids's file in case he sues us in 20 years for not protecting him from the junk food monster or some such.
 
2013-02-25 09:46:09 PM
oi48.tinypic.com

/Oblig
 
2013-02-25 09:48:31 PM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: When do the 'ugly' and 'stupid' letters go out?


For the latter, there are already report cards.
 
2013-02-25 09:48:35 PM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: When do the 'ugly' and 'stupid' letters go out?


'Stupid' letters go out all the time.

Midterm report cards, parent teacher conferences.

Were you a recipient of these or homeschooled?
 
2013-02-25 09:50:03 PM

Warrener: dj_bigbird: Wow, people are still using BMI to evaluate an individual's health? What's next? Phrenology?

Yes, BMI is horribly unfair to all of the kids over 2meters tall and all of the body builders.


so much this

/had a BMI of 29.5 3 years ago
//It's 21.6 today
 
2013-02-25 09:52:30 PM
Fat parent in TFA: "He's a member of the North Andover Booster Club wrestling team and the Doughboy Wrestling Club, and he's also a football player. How could he be 'obese'?"

stuntgranny.files.wordpress.com
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-02-25 09:53:40 PM
6'2" 190 lbs and bmi says I'm 5 lbs from obese. Glad im not a fattie (yet)...
 
2013-02-25 09:56:17 PM

occamswrist: 6'2" 190 lbs and bmi says I'm 5 lbs from obese. Glad im not a fattie (yet)...


be careful.  cause it happens INSTANTLY!
 
2013-02-25 09:57:23 PM
The kid's not fat, he's just big boned.... and he has worms.
 
2013-02-25 09:57:30 PM
Look at the lunch menu's. http://www.aps1.net/index.aspx?NID=92

Just a sample:
* mozzarella sticks
* Chicken nuggets
* Domino's or Papa Gino's pizza
* 3 layer cheesy beans
* Mac & cheese

At least they are learning to eat right at school.

/sarcasm off
 
2013-02-25 10:00:18 PM
Parents should send letters back about fat teachers and administrators. My school nurse when I was a kid had her own gravitational pull. Nice lady, though.
 
2013-02-25 10:03:04 PM

Boss Vic Koss: Look at the lunch menu's. http://www.aps1.net/index.aspx?NID=92

Just a sample:
* mozzarella sticks
* Chicken nuggets
* Domino's or Papa Gino's pizza
* 3 layer cheesy beans
* Mac & cheese

At least they are learning to eat right at school.

/sarcasm off


When my mom suggested to a school dietician that maybe the food should be healthy, her reply was "We think food should be fun!"

Not helping.
 
2013-02-25 10:03:20 PM

lack of warmth: If they are going to check the kids' health out, nothing new in public schools, atleast they only sent letters to the house. Imagine if they announced the 'fat letters' in front of the whole school, not that kids need to be told who's fat.


It might help. Somebody should figure out how to keep the kids from turning out like the blobs in Wall-E.
 
2013-02-25 10:04:35 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: lack of warmth: If they are going to check the kids' health out, nothing new in public schools, atleast they only sent letters to the house. Imagine if they announced the 'fat letters' in front of the whole school, not that kids need to be told who's fat.

It might help. Somebody should figure out how to keep the kids from turning out like the blobs in Wall-E.


stop feeding em damned McMilkshakes
and ALSO install treadmills on the damned ship

hell even Holiday Inn Expresses have them

and exercise is like gay nowadays (popular)
 
2013-02-25 10:06:39 PM

JohnAnnArbor: Boss Vic Koss: Look at the lunch menu's. http://www.aps1.net/index.aspx?NID=92

Just a sample:
* mozzarella sticks
* Chicken nuggets
* Domino's or Papa Gino's pizza
* 3 layer cheesy beans
* Mac & cheese

At least they are learning to eat right at school.

/sarcasm off

When my mom suggested to a school dietician that maybe the food should be healthy, her reply was "We think food should be fun!"

Not helping.


Exactly. It's a captive audience. The kid can eat the healthy food or starve... oh, wait. They're competing against vending machines full of Twinkies and cornwater.
 
2013-02-25 10:07:22 PM
Look around you in a supermarket or read the newspaper, there are plenty of parents who need to be made aware of their blindness and self-denial regarding their children. A lot more of these wake-up notices are needed coast to coast regarding many children's situations.

Talk to a few intelligent and experienced school teachers. They can tell you all sorts of stories about parents they would like to shake until they wake up and catch the fark on.
 
2013-02-25 10:08:50 PM
Second and ten, Coach.
 
2013-02-25 10:18:27 PM
I don't understand the outrage.  If your get a fat letter and you're kid is just "muscular,"  just concede that BMI isn't perfect and throw the letter away.  No one is making you do anything.
 
2013-02-25 10:18:43 PM
I grew up in MA and remember getting a skin caliper test every year in gym class. Good to know that they've progressed to using a meaningless number in place of a test that actually measures body fat.

/was always something like 98th percentile in height and weight through grade school, never had a weight/fat problem
 
2013-02-25 10:20:30 PM

Xythero: I don't understand the outrage.  If your get a fat letter and you're kid is just "muscular,"  just concede that BMI isn't perfect and throw the letter away.  No one is making you do anything.


duh
we all wish we were muscular
that's why we're arguing!!
 
2013-02-25 10:23:18 PM
Not wierd at all and it is about time. That is one of the primary issues this nation has with obesity: most folks who are dont realize they are.  I feel sorry for the kid mentioned in the article.  Dad laughs at the notice while the kid continues on a path to an early death.
 
2013-02-25 10:25:17 PM

reillan: so much this

/had a BMI of 29.5 3 years ago
//It's 21.6 today


Good job.

/Used to have a BMI of 39.
//Now I'm at 25. (Got down to 23 before I started lifting heavy things for fun.)
 
2013-02-25 10:27:52 PM

Great Janitor: Sad that my school didn't send letters out like that when I was a kid.  I wasn't fat, just a bully.  Nothing says "Kick this kid's ass!" like a bunch of kids getting letters from the school calling them fat.  Especially after calling them fat all year long, then they get a letter from the school saying that they are fat.  Kill their self esteem and bullying becomes so much easier.


content9.flixster.com


S'up, Carl?
 
2013-02-25 10:29:39 PM
temeez.com
 
2013-02-25 10:33:46 PM
You all sound fat.
 
2013-02-25 10:36:47 PM

occamswrist: 6'2" 190 lbs and bmi says I'm 5 lbs from obese. Glad im not a fattie (yet)...


Uh, not according to the calculator I just checked.

It says you are 24.4. 30 is obese and if you were 225 you still wouldn't score a thirty.

This calculator didn't ask for age though.
 
2013-02-25 10:39:41 PM

codergirl42: max_pooper: codergirl42: cameroncrazy1984: codergirl42: Hrmmm unqualified school officials giving unsolicited medical advice, sounds like a great plan.

Aren't school nurses supposed to be licensed or registered?

If I wanted to know if my kid is fat and whether or not it's causing health problems for them I'll ask the pediatrician who has my kids complete medical history. I don't need some busy body school nurse writing me a strongly worded letter becuase she thinks my kid is unhealthy based on what the scale says.

//Doesn't have a kid.

What do you think these letters are for? The school nurses that check BMI are not taking a full medical history and making a diagnosis. They are simply telling you that your kid is a fat tub of goo. You can do what you want with that information. Good parents will talk to their pediatrician about it and determine what if anything needs to be done about it. Stupid parents will just biatch and moan and then order pizza for dinner for the third night in a row.

What a fatty based on the BMI scale might look like.


I like you.
 
2013-02-25 10:40:32 PM
The way the school district my mother works for deals with this sends automatic calls to all students and faculty to teach them nutrition classes.  They seem to learn that hot pockets are not very nutritional with 50% the saturated fat allowance for one day is not acceptable meal?  No.  They don't learn that because they don't go to the classes.
 
2013-02-25 10:40:41 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: JohnAnnArbor: Boss Vic Koss: Look at the lunch menu's. http://www.aps1.net/index.aspx?NID=92

Just a sample:
* mozzarella sticks
* Chicken nuggets
* Domino's or Papa Gino's pizza
* 3 layer cheesy beans
* Mac & cheese

At least they are learning to eat right at school.

/sarcasm off

When my mom suggested to a school dietician that maybe the food should be healthy, her reply was "We think food should be fun!"

Not helping.

Exactly. It's a captive audience. The kid can eat the healthy food or starve... oh, wait. They're competing against vending machines full of Twinkies and cornwater.


i make food my kids eat and is good for them, mac and cheese with whole grain pasta
beef mac with whole grain pasta extra tomtoes real cheese and lean beef.
beef stew in the crock pot full of veggis and beef cooked with red wine.
meat sauce and pasta with Sausage in the crok pot cooked all day long
Fresh bread from whole grain flour
never use whjte bread or white flour only whole grain use olive oil and butter not hydroginated corn oil use lless salt and server real juice or iced tea and whole milk (organic) server fresh salads maake your dinners from scratch avoid cans use in season stuff. this is not hard just use you head. also all of my kids are in at least one sport the requires running or lots of walking.I may be fat but my kids are NOT. no diet soda no regular sodas if there is pizza we make it at home. itt takes me two hours totaal prep time for a full meal for 7 start the smal stuff and prep in the am finish when i get home.
in the crock pot meal i  put it together the night before and start it in the morning
 
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