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NY Begins Tracking Obesity in Schools

Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 12:17PM by Registered CommenterPennino Corp. CEO | Comments1 Comment | References1 Reference

NY Begins Tracking Obesity Levels In Schools


As New York students return to public schools this year, some will find themselves asked to step up to the scale.

Legislation passed in 2007 goes into effect this month, requiring public schools outside of New York City to collect and report a summary of students' weights and body mass indexes as part of an effort to combat childhood obesity.

"Whatever you can measure, you can improve," said Dr. Richard Daines, the state health commissioner. "By requiring the measurement of body mass index, I think we'll see some improvement."

Doctors will now be required to test students when they come in for a student health certificate -- which is mandatory for attendance at New York schools. The information will be reported to schools, creating a set of data that will allow health officials to evaluate obesity levels based on geography.

"We'll have a much better sense of the distribution of the problem (and) if there are areas that have more of a problem," Daines said.

The information will be confidential and collected at school entry and in second, fourth, seventh and 10th grades.

The data will be passed on to the state Department of Health unless parents ask to have the information excluded.

A 2004 health survey of New York third-graders found that 21 percent were obese.

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