A year and a half ago I wrote about English PCTs weighing and measuring children and sending letters to parents telling them if their child is classed as obese on the fundamentally flawed BMI chart.
Back then I said:
The parents getting the “very overweight” letter will presumably put their child on a diet and the parents getting the “underweight” letter will presumably start trying to fatten their kids up. Both sets of parents, you would hope, will be fretting over the health of their child.
But what if the BMI is wrong and the child isn’t obese or underweight but is a perfectly healthy child that simply has a large or small frame?
Too much faith is put in statistics and arbitrary scales and targets and not enough in common sense.
Mrs Sane showed me an article in Reveal magazine today about a woman whose daughter was weighed and measured and then a letter was sent to her to tell her that her daughter was obese. She isn’t obese, she’s normal and one of four children, none of which have problems with their weight. But because she was 1lb over the “normal” weight for an “average” child with an “average” build her mother got a letter telling her her daughter was obese and therefore at increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type two diabetes and cancer.
Luckily for the young girl in question – who, from the photos, looks perfectly healthy – her mother didn’t believe a word of it and has kicked off instead. But like I said a year and a half ago, what about the parents that get the letter and inappropriately start to fatten up their child or put them on a diet?
It’s time to do away the BMI scale and start using some common sense before we end up with a generation of children pushed into an obsession with weight and body image by British government propaganda.