You are here


Child Health Experts Say ‘Kids Should Be Weighed Annually Until 18yrs'

Young Boy Standing Against a Height Measurement

According to the Royal College of Paediatrics, there should be annual 'weigh ins' for every child in the UK. It says measuring kids' weight and BMI is the best way to begin tackling spiralling obesity rates. In new report Child Health in 2030 in England, the recommendation is to measure, every year, until eighteen. 

Currently, children are measured at primary school until the age of ten. There are no yearly health checks beyond this. It means there's no record of how a young person is developing or at what point, if any, health interventions should be considered.

Click for more on the Child Health in 2030 report.

The Great British 'Weigh In' 

For now, the proposal is just a recommendation. NHS spokespeople say the report will help it form a long term plan for child health in the UK. The advice has concerned some parents and teachers, however, who ask how the data would be used. Who would see it? What actions might be taken for kids outside the healthy range?

Almost one in four children (22.6%) start primary school overweight. So, the dangers of inaction outweigh the risk of hurt feelings. Obesity is a national epidemic: too serious to reject proposals simply because they involve tough truths. On the other hand, older children and teens can be uniquely vulnerable. Health interventions must recognise this.

Read our blog to learn about the challenges facing Britain's schoolkids.

Raising Happy, Wholesome Kids 

At Amaven, we're concerned with the psychological impact of yearly measurements, particularly on teens. Would overweight pupils be singled out at school? How would health advice be given? What type of language might be used? Would parents simply be notified or supported to help kids reduce their weight?

It's vital we save children from a lifetime of poor health. But we also have a responsibility to create nurturing school environments. Families must understand healthy routines are not a punishment. They're the secret to a long and happy life...and available to all of us!

What do you think? Is it a good idea for schools to weigh kids? Follow @MyAmaven and share your opinions.