Using a flawed and highly criticized health evaluation standard, New York City schools have been sending letters to parents informing them that their children are overweight and should submit to immediate diet and exercise regimens.
The parents of Gwendolyn Williams–a perfectly thin, four-foot-tall nine-year-old–received a letter about their daughter’s weight on Thursday. The “Fitnessgram,” mandated by NYC’s Department of Education, said that Gwendolyn was overweight, according to The New York Post.
The New York Post published a picture of her here. She is clearly anything but overweight.
The problem? The DOE used body mass index to evaluate students’ weights. But BMI relies on variables, such as average height and age, that often mischaracterize perfectly healthy individuals. (RELATED: Nanny State Run Amok: Police Will Now Ticket, Charge 5-Year-Olds For Bullying)
“My organization and others believe that BMI report cards have no place coming from schools and can be more harmful than helpful,” said Chevese Turner, a representative of the Binge Eating Disorder Association, in a statement.
Kids should not be instructed to diet by school officials, said Turner.
“I know that I’m not overweight, so why should I believe the New York Department of Education?” she asked in a statement.