Don't Weigh Kids in School

Don't Weigh Kids in School

February 9, 2022
Petition to
State policymakers
Signatures: 26,014Next Goal: 35,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Miriam Nelson

**If you are willing to share your story being weighed in school, please do so using this google form!

About 40% of kids live in states with policies instructing schools to take student BMIs. This means students are weighed by their teachers. The students' body mass index (BMI) is then calculated, and many schools will notify parents if their student falls in the “overweight” or “obese” categories based on the arbitrary BMI measurement.

The CDC has safeguards for school BMI screenings which are meant to protect students' privacy and protect them from being shamed or bullied. However, these safeguards are not being followed.

The CDC recommends 10 safeguards to be followed when doing BMI screenings in schools. However, a study from 2019 estimated that only 3% of schools had the 4 safeguards they were testing for and 56% had none or one. “School-based BMI screening is common, but adopting multiple recommended safeguards is not."

These screenings have been proven both ineffective and harmful to students. A March 2021 study of 28,641 students in California Public Schools shows that BMI screenings did not "improve" students’ weight status or physical health. The screenings did, however, decrease students’ satisfaction with their weight.

BMI screenings in schools can encourage dangerous disordered eating behaviors and make it harder for the students to be truly healthy in the long run.

The screenings ONLY effectiveness is at harming students' self-image. We need to stop kids from being weighed in school.


Sliwa, Sarah A., et al. “Do Schools That Screen for Body Mass Index Have Recommended Safeguards in Place?” The Journal of School Nursing 35, no. 4 (August 2019): 299–308.

Madsen, Kristine A., et al. “Effect of School-Based Body Mass Index Reporting in California Public Schools: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA Pediatrics 175, no. 3 (March 1, 2021): 251–59.

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Signatures: 26,014Next Goal: 35,000
Support now

Decision Makers

  • State policymakers