Notifying Parents of Child Weight Concerns - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/22/02

Notifying Parents of Child Weight Concerns

You remember, the federal government recently announced that obesity is a public health epidemic, citing that the problem starts in childhood, especially with so many kids today not being physically active. So the school district in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, has launched a new campaign, notifying parents by mail if their kids are too skinny or too fat.

As you might guess, some parents are miffed. "I don't see the benefit because you already know if your child is overweight or underweight, so what's a letter going to do?" says Tina Mondovich a parent.

"The thing that is not obvious is what's going on organically. What's happening with the heart? What's happening with the early onset of Diabetes? This is a health issue. We are being proactive on a health issue," says Dr. George Ziolkowski, of the East Penn. School District.

Doctor Ziolkowski says kids actually only eat about 5% of their meals at school, the rest of what they put in their mouths comes from what they eat at home or on the go. That's why he thinks mailing letters directly to the parents explaining any weight trouble might help them understand the potential health problems, and at least encourage them to get their kids to a doctor for further tests.

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