Administrators of public schools in Massachusetts sent letters to parents of kids who were deemed obese by the school district.
But some parents feel the schools overstepped their bounds—or were flat-out wrong.
“No one wants to get a letter saying they’re obese. That’s a very strong, uncomfortable word, and we didn’t see if fitting with our son who is very active, he’s very strong,” said Matt Watson, who received a letter about his son’s weight, in an interview with Channel 7 News.
Watson’s son, Cameron, is an active 10-year-old who is on the wrestling team. He isn’t fat, the family said.
“I know I’m not obese so I didn’t really care about the letter. I just crumpled it up,” Cam Watson said.
The problem is that the school district based its obesity evaluations on kids’ body mass indexes. BMI measurements account for height and weight but not frame, and tend to penalize people with muscular bodies. Chanel 7 News noted that Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, is also “obese” according to the BMI.
Cameron’s biggest concern with the letters was how his less self-assured classmates might react to them.
“I don’t like my friends getting their feelings hurt,” he said.
The school district did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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