Blog: Obesity shame starts young

Catherine Sleep | 20 December 2006

I was far from surprised to read this morning that the take-up rate of voluntary child obesity tests has been disappointing. Just half of children took part in a national scheme to test whether five and 11-year-olds are overweight.

The test was designed simply to gather information, not to offer advice, and certainly not to ‘name and shame’ those who failed to align energy intake with output. Nevertheless, it would have felt embarrassing to be weighed in front of your fellow pupils, if you were a little on the heavy side, and let’s face it, schoolchildren can be cruel to one another.

The National Obesity Forum said the exercise had been a waste of time and it’s hard to disagree. I guess we need to look at a compulsory obesity test, or a way to achieve the same end in a more palatable manner. Weighing children at the GP’s clinic as part of a routine 10-year health check might be one idea to consider.

Low turnout for obesity testing


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