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No Point in Telling Parents About Kids’ Weight?

back-to-schoolNEW YORK (Reuters Health) – School policies that let parents know when their children are overweight or obese appears to have little impact on the problem, a new study finds.

In the last decade, almost all public schools in California collected information about height and weight on kids in the fifth, seventh, and ninth grades, but only some opted to send the results to parents. This gave Dr. Kristine A. Madsen of the University of California, San Francisco, an unique opportunity to evaluate the impact of that notification.

She found that children whose parents were told they were overweight were no more likely to have lost weight years later than children whose parents were not notified.

These findings, reported in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, suggest that school officials should concentrate their efforts on interventions that have the most impact, such as making school lunches healthier, and increasing the use of physical activity, Madsen noted.

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