Stop dangerous practice of "weight grades" on report cards
  • Petitioned President of the United States

This petition was delivered to:

President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Stop dangerous practice of "weight grades" on report cards

    1. Cheryl Rainfield
    2. Petition by

      Cheryl Rainfield

      Toronto, NY

Dear Friends and activists –

Many children and teens suffer from negative body image and eating disorders; eating disorders and negative body image issues are on the rise.  Now there’s something that will make this worse—many  states are now sending “weight grades” and BMI scores home on students’ report cards.  Yes, we need our children be healthy--but this is not the way to do it!

Both of us authors have struggled with body image issues and disordered eating – Sarah is a recovered bulimic, and Cheryl used self-harm to cope. While we know that obesity is a problem in the United States, we are also very  aware  of the pressure that society puts on young girls to be thin, and how this has led to an increase in  life-threatening eating disorders and negative body image issues. Eating disorders don’t discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race or class – no one is immune. It’s not just a “girl thing,” either.  One in four people with eating disorders are male, and that number has been rising.  Statistics show that young people are particularly vulnerable, which is why the idea of a “weight grade” is so horrifying.

Here’s some food for thought:

    * Anorexia has the highest mortality rate among all psychological disorders.
   * 10% of all eating disorders cases are children under the age of 10.
   * The most common behavior that will lead to an eating disorder is dieting.
   * 4 out of 10 Americans have either suffered or have known someone who has suffered from an eating disorder.
    * One-half of 4th grade girls are on a diet.
    * Among high school students, 44% of the females and 15% of the males are attempting to lose weight.
    * Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents.


We think that putting “weight grades” and BMI on report cards is a serious mistake, and will lead to increased eating disorders, negative body image, low self-esteem, and increased bullying. Educating kids about healthy eating and exercise is a good thing. Grading them on their weight is not. Please join us in putting a stop to this misguided practice.


Yours in strength and health,


Cheryl Rainfield, author of SCARS     and       Sarah Darer Littman, author of PURGE                         



PS Please help us spread the word, by sharing this on Twitter, FaceBook, your blog, inviting friends to join--any way you can help. Thank you so very much!


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Lisa Deese FISHERS, IN
      • about 3 years ago

      As a person in recovery from an ED, mom of 3 girls and soon to be ED counselor, I am appalled by this and the fact that they are weighing and measuring children in schools at all! This needs to stop!

    • Quynh Nguyen AUSTIN, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      This will have the opposite affect. Girls are already very insecure with their weight as it is. The media keep telling us that we're suppose to look skinny as a stick like the supermodel to be consider beautiful. Weight Grades will most definitely lower self esteem, body hatred, and it can leads the kids down a terrible path of bulimia and anorexic. Please please don't let this pass.

    • Gina Mateer AUSTIN, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      This is absolutely absurd. As a registered dietitian who works with people struggling with eating disorders every day, I can not be more appalled by what is being done here. Requiring adolescence to weigh in and correlate their weight with their self worth and whether or not they are "good" or "bad" is basically hand feeding poor body image and eating disorders to our countries youth.

    • Megan Burke MARINA DEL REY, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      I agree that there needs to be a solution. However, I don't think that adding the BMI to report cards is the solution. BMI is not accurate for determining how overweight someone is. Various body structures may be more or less on BMI, but a child's actual weight may be fine.

    • Nan Gibson ALBANY, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      that goes right along with bullying!


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