FRANKFORT – The State Board of Education recently approved a proposal that would require schools to calculate and record a child’s body mass index (BMI), which relates to body fact.
This action results from the growing problem of childhood obesity – a problem that has been for a long time a concern of Senator Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville.
For the second consecutive session, Senator Harper Angel is sponsoring legislation (Senate Bill 39) that focuses on reducing childhood obesity and improving the health of Kentucky’s youth through BMI screenings.
“A 2010 study by Trust for America’s Health found that Kentucky ranked third in the nation in the number of children ages 10 to 17 considered obese,” said Senator Harper Angel, a member of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. “We know that obesity leads to many other health risks such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends BMI screens to help identify excessive weight gain early.
“I am very pleased to see the state school board taking the initiative with BMI screenings,” she added. “We need to address the growing epidemic of childhood obesity now to get our children on a better health path.”
Kentucky’s new regulation would go into effect in the 2012-13 school years and the BMI screenings would be made during a student’s annual exam in grades preschool through five and at least once in middle and high school.
Senator Harper Angel, who represents the 35th District, has served in the State Senate since 2005.