TABLE 7-2 States and Districts Requiring Student Screening and Follow-Up

 

States

Districts

% Requiring Screening

% Requiring Parental Notification

% Requiring Screening

% Requiring Parental Notification

Height and weight or BMI

26.0

61.5

38.4

81.1

Hearing

70.6

91.4

88.4

98.5

Vision

70.6

91.4

90.4

98.5

Oral health

17.6

87.5

31.1

98.3

Scoliosis

45.1

100.0

68.8

98.6

Tuberculosis

20.0

80.0

17.1

93.7

SOURCE: Brener et al., 2001.

United States whose families do not have health insurance (Bhandari and Gifford, 2003) and who may not be seen on a regular basis by a medical practitioner. Additionally, many children, particularly in their mid-childhood and teen years, do not have annual health-care visits. Parents often do not recognize that their child is overweight or obese, or they may believe that the child will outgrow his or her excess weight (Etelson et al., 2003; Maynard et al., 2003). If children were weighed and measured annually, the history of a particular child could be tracked and any increase in his or her gender- and age-specific BMI percentile would be detected, allowing for actions designed to prevent further increases and perhaps even lower the BMI.

Some states and school systems have begun providing an individualized health “report card” focused on conveying weight-status information to parents (Box 7-4) (Chomitz et al., 2003; Scheier, 2004). Concerns have been raised about unintended consequences of this approach, including potential stigmatization of children, misinterpretation of BMIs, and placement of children on harmful diets (Scheier, 2004). However, such measures are routinely collected at many schools (Table 7-2) and in health-care providers’ clinics. Furthermore, many intervention studies have obtained weight and height measurements on large numbers of students. For example, CATCH collected weight, height, blood pressure, skinfold thickness, aerobic fitness, dietary intake, and physical activity data on 4,019 students in 96 schools in third grade and again in fifth grade (Luepker et al., 1996).



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