Challenge the Growth Screen Program, and eliminate Bmi checks in school.

Challenge the Growth Screen Program, and eliminate Bmi checks in school.

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laura hernandez started this petition to Department of Health and

To the Department of Health and State legislators,

We want to challenge the mandate of the “Growth Screen Program” that consists of in taking, recording and informing families of our children's BMI from schools. The mandate is more harmful than helpful, to our children. Research has confirmed how harmful it is to children, and our testimonies will confirm that research for you.

Our pediatricians have our children’s health history since birth. They have growth trends, illness and health background, to decide if our children need intervention.  Our schools already require physical and health records to attend school. If a parent fails to send in physical forms, the school provides the physical. Putting aside all information the school already has access to, having children line up, taking minimal information to put them in a box of “healthy vs unhealthy” is not a good approach for their health. They do not take enough information to have an accurate understanding.

Instead of helping our kids’ health, it can provoke or exaggerate self-image issues. It causes focus to be more on physical image and less on their actual health. Countless testimonies are in unison stating taking their BMI in school, with their peers, has provoked mental and emotional issues they still struggle with, well into adulthood. I’ve personally seen it cause children to have body dysmorphia, eating disorders, self-harm, lower self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Even if we send letters to parents concealed, kids still can access the information. The responsibility of a child’s health belongs to the parents and their doctor.

If we focus more on our children’s mental and emotional health, I am sure their physical health will follow. Focusing on what box they fit into, after only a 5minute intake, will damage them. I understand we want healthy kids, but this practice is a cheap and quick “resolution” that only defers the deeper issues. It hasn’t resolved childhood obesity, and it should be removed from school, or at minimum re-evaluated.

The mandate has not been updated in over a decade. We have access to more information today, that may help our children in all aspects of health.

Respectfully,

Concerned Pennsylvania parents and residents

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