October 30th, 2013
12:46 AM ET

Schools sending "fat letters" home with obese children

Across the country, 18 states are sending home so-called "fat letters" to alert parents their child's body mass index is unhealthy and doesn't make the grade. The notices are part of an effort to fight childhood obesity. There are plenty of parents who are angry. Just two weeks ago, Massachusetts stopped sending them home with kids due to concerns over self esteem and bullying. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni joins the panel and talks about his struggle with weight as a child.

Filed under: AC360 Later • Ana Navarro • Andrew Sullivan • Charles Blow • Dr. Drew Pinsky • Frank Bruni
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Hannah

    I think this is ridicules. Kids eat cause they want to . They want to cover up emotional pain. They have no reason to be doing this. This horrible. Think of being them how they feel. They probably feel horrible. Thee self esteem is probably crushed. Some kids hurt themselves over this. This is not funny or a joke. They are no different from us even if your big or small. Remember always stick up for somebody even if you don't like them.

    November 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  2. Mychelle

    Most parents aren't aware that their kids could be at risk for hypertension or diabetes being "chubby" – and too many parents think that "baby fat" is normal. I think these messages to parents can do good. Yes parents should be the ones to parent but some don't know how. Better a "shamed" kid than a dead shortened life kid.

    October 31, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  3. Renee Jensen

    This is the MOST disgusting thing I have EVER heard!! Schools need to TEACH and let PARENTS raise their Children!! Frankly, it is NOT the schools BUSINESS!! LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!

    October 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Alioth

      I'm not saying I agree with the school's methods here, but child endangerment IS the school's business. It's everybody's business. And if parents WON'T deal with their children's obesity problems, make no mistake: that IS child endangerment. I get so fed up with the "Don't tell me how to raise my child" crowd who think that no one has a right to speak up for kids' safety. I can't tell you how to raise your children, but when I see that your parenting choices are putting your children in danger, it is my duty as a concerned citizen to step in and protect those children – just as if you were letting them play in the street or physically abusing them.

      October 31, 2013 at 2:03 am |
  4. Mike

    I'm glad I have the privilege of being the first to post. The author, Frank Bruni, is wrong on at least one count. Children DON'T know the extent of their obesity. Their parents don't know either. Standards have changed. Fat is now "chubby". Obese is now merely fat. Parents also don't know the dangers of childhood obesity. Sending a letter home is just data. Schools do all kinds of screening such as vision and scoliosis. Every school nurse should screen perform height and weight screenings. Bruni is correct on one point, though, and that's the difference between Europeans and Americans. You won't find an all you can eat buffet sign in a European nation. Americans place too much emphasis on food.

    October 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  5. Julie Chaiken

    OMG NO
    Being a teacher, 31 years, I can assure you this should not be the school's responsibility.
    Also children have enough self-esteem issues why should the schools contribute to it? Schools should be a safe place for children

    October 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.