CHULA VISTA, Calif. (March 29, 2014) As part of the effort to address the nation's childhood obesity epidemic, schools in nearly a quarter of all states now record body mass index scores, measuring hundreds of thousands of students, but the practice hasn’t been universally embraced.
The Chula Vista Elementary School District near the California-Mexico border is being touted for its methods that have resulted in motivating the community to take action with healthy programs at schools.
But other school districts have angered parents and eating disorder groups by conducting screenings to identify overweight children and sending home what critics call obesity report cards or "fat letters."
Chula Vista does what is known as surveillance, in which students are measured to identify how many are at risk for weight-related health problems but they remain anonymous.
Supporters of the effort say the local data has brought in help.