Obesity screening in schools - beneficial or harmful?

Last week at the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs a call was made for weight screening to take place annually in schools. The reason for this is because research showsparents of overweight children underestimate their children’s weight .

A study carried out in the United Kingdom examined the benefits and harms of providing weight feedback to parents as part of a school-based weight screening programme. Almost 2,000 parents of children aged 4-5 and 10-11 years were surveyed.

The survey found that knowledge of child overweight as a health issue increased following weight feedback. There was also an increase in the proportion of parents who identified their children correctly as overweight, from 22% to 38%. More than a third of parents of overweight children sought further information on their child’s weight after receiving feedback on their child’s weight.

There was no notable changes in lifestyle behaviours after the feedback and there was no evidence of an effect of the feedback on child weight-related teasing and self-esteem.

For more information on promoting a healthy weight and lifestyle in children take a look at our START campaign.

Posted: 10/05/2018 14:19:31 by Tracey Thompson
Filed under: BMI, Measurement, Weight


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