School nurses reject weighing children

    The Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association
    rejected MPs’ calls this week to measure children’s body mass index
    (BMI) every year in a drive to reduce obesity.

    Pat Jackson, the association’s professional officer for school
    health, warned that measuring schoolchildren’s BMI would not work
    in isolation.

    A report by the House of Commons health select committee suggests
    that children’s BMI ought to be measured in school and the results
    sent to parents, along with dietary and exercise advice.

    But Jackson warned that turning school nurses into “screeners”
    would take them away from other preventive work in public health.
    She also questioned what follow-up there would be for the many
    children with a high BMI.

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