Texas Lawmaker Unveils Child Obesity Bill
By Associated Press
January 18, 2005, 10:04 PM EST
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas school districts would be required to include the body mass index of students as part of their regular report cards under a bill introduced Tuesday by a lawmaker seeking to link healthy minds with healthy bodies.
When the measurement, which calculates body fat based on height and weight, indicates a student is overweight, the school would provide parents with information about links between increased body fat and health problems, said Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte.
"We should be just as concerned with students' physical health and performance as we are with their academic performance," she said.
More than a third of school-age children in Texas are overweight or obese, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Arkansas implemented a similar law during the 2003-2004 school year, although the information is sent to parents separately from report cards.
Eric Allen, a spokesman for the Association for Texas Professional Educators, said most parents don't need to be told their child is overweight.
"It doesn't have a place on a report card," he said.
Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press