Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Assessing the Value of BMI Screening and Surveillance in Schools


The value of routine body mass index (BMI) screening in schools has been a topic of ongoing controversy. An expert Roundtable Discussion in the current issue of Childhood Obesity, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., debates the pros and cons of routine BMI screening in the school setting, discusses the most recent data, and explores when and for what purpose BMI screening results should be shared with parents and the potential benefits. The Roundtable is available online.

Patricia B. Crawford, DrPH, RD, Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley, moderates the Roundtable entitled, “An Update on the Use and Value of School BMI Screening, Surveillance, and Reporting.” Participants include Jim Hinson, PhD, Superintendent of Schools, Independence School District, Missouri, Kristine Madsen, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and Allison Nihiser, MPH, Health Scientist, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

“Ignoring this issue is clearly not an option,” says David L. Katz, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity and Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. “But it must be handled thoughtfully so that what we know about BMI in kids empowers us and them, and their parents, and their teachers to do something constructive, and compassionate about it. This insightful, multidisciplinary group highlights the important opportunities in this strategy, while considering how to avoid any potential pitfalls. Great insights here and very practical guidance.”

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