Imagine getting a letter from your child’s school, informing you that they have recently calculated your kid’s body mass index and according to the numbers, he or she is obese. What would your reaction be? Due to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s BMI initiative,that’s exactly what’s been happening to New England parents and many are none too happy about it.
The initiative, first passed in 2009, requires public schools to calculate the BMI of their students and send a letter home if that number is considered to be too high. But these letters–now being referred to as “the fat letters” –are stirring up controversy among some parents, who feel the whole thing is an “interference in parenting and an invasion of privacy.” Meanwhile, kids who are the subject of these letters are reportedly becoming “upset, depressed and ashamed” for having their weight called out.