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Proposal for primary school kids to be weighed to grade

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 7 December, 2012 - 8:16 AM
<b>WEIGH IN:</b> Should kids weight be recorded on school reports? <i>(Photo: Kylie Melinda Smith)</i>

A University of Melbourne Professor believes students’ weight should be included in their school reports to parents as a means of facilitating dialogue with parents over children’s health.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Should primary school students have their weight recorded in school reports? Comment below

Professor David Pennington, who also chaired the National AIDS Task Force from 1983 to 1987, told Ross and John the food children were eating and their technologically-driven lifestyles were contributing to an obesity trend.

”We want there to be a commitment to interaction between schoolteachers and parents about the broader issues of the development of a child, and we want also to have a record of how things are going,” he said.

”There's clear evidence that the obesity trend is occurring right from childhood and it's the form of eating that's currently fashionable amongst young kids that needs to be discussed and considered as each year goes by.

Professor Pennington said he wanted to alter the culture to show parents that their child’s health is something they are responsible for.

Federal President of the Australian Education Union Angelo Gavrielatos strongly opposed the recommendation, saying it wasn't in the interests of children to be shaming them for their bodies.

LISTEN: Angelo Gavrielatos speaks with Neil Mitchell

"We've got grave concerns about it. There's no doubt there is good intention behind this and rising from the fact that there is growing concern about obesity, but this is not the way forward," he told Neil Mitchell.

"The way forward is with more education for parents in order to highlight to parents the importance of healthy eating, healthy lifestyle and indeed also through the curriculum with students.

"To record students' weight on a report card I think is potentially very, very negative and could lead to other consequences such as low self esteem (and) self-images issues and we know where that can lead us."

Mr Gavrielatos said people who were overweight were already aware of their own issues.

"I don't think they're helped by having it on an official record such as a report card," he said.

"And quite frankly as teachers, who are we to judge at what cut off point we make judgments about weight of children."

LISTEN: Professor Davoid Pennington speaks with Ross and John:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • What a horrible suggestion to record a childs weight on a school report. If a child is thought to be obese they do not want this recorded forever on a school report which an employer or some one in authority may want to see at a future date. If a teacher or school nurse thinks the child needs to lose weight then why not just ring the parent and tell them!

    Azinnia Monday 10 December, 2012 - 11:28 PM
  • A lot of teachers are nothinig but fat slobs and hair untidy and never combed.
    This is getting like a Communist Country now telling you what you can give your child to eat. Photograph the so called expert. No Politicans are anything to go by either.Ban sports where kids get killed or drowned.

    taxpayer Monday 10 December, 2012 - 2:36 PM
  • Just bloody well teach the three RRR'S. Get out my kids lunchbox and focus on education.

    Jane Saturday 8 December, 2012 - 12:53 PM
  • Yep, why not just slap more labels on the kids. This will do wonders for their self esteem and will ensure that they won't be bullied or have poor self esteem.
    What is wrong with this man? It is none of school's business what kids eat. As long as they are not abused, their diet should not concern anyone else but the parents.
    Better get teachers to concentrate on what is really important in the classroom and leave parenting to parents.

    Peggy Friday 7 December, 2012 - 9:35 PM

    IAN Friday 7 December, 2012 - 2:57 PM
  • What if you have a "FAT" teacher?? how do they tell you how to help your kids.

    IAN Friday 7 December, 2012 - 2:50 PM

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