Body-shaming is a food nanny fail.
The media release and abstract are below.
Overweight reporting in New York City schools
Body mass index (BMI) reports given by schools to students and their parents may not be an effective tool for reducing obesity, a study suggests. Schools in the United States increasingly report BMI to students and their parents, but it is unclear whether such reports are effective in reducing obesity. Douglas Almond and colleagues obtained more than 3.5 million BMI reports given to New York City public school students from 2007 to 2012, and examined how being classified as overweight for the previous academic year affected the students’ subsequent BMIs and weights. The authors compared female students whose BMI was close to their age-specific cutoff for being considered overweight with those whose BMI narrowly included them in the category considered healthy. The authors found that being labeled overweight had little to no effect on female students’ subsequent BMIs and weights, and these parameters did not decline relative to the healthy students when evaluated the following academic year. The authors found similar results when they examined the effects of being classified as obese; an analysis of male students also failed to find any effects of being labeled obese. The results indicate that being labeled overweight had no beneficial effects on the BMI of female students in New York City, compared with being categorized as healthy, and the authors suggest that overweight labels in the absence of additional services may not be effective tools in curbing obesity.
Article #15-18443: “Impacts of classifying New York City students as ‘overweight’,” by Douglas Almond, Ajin Lee, and Amy Ellen Schwartz.