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Mass. To Stop Sending Letters Home On Student Weight

This article is more than 6 years old.

Massachusetts is dropping its requirement that schools inform parents of their children's body mass index, or BMI score. As WBUR's Martha Bebinger reported for our Newscast Unit:

The letters offended some parents, triggered some bullying, and research shows the letters don't affect obesity rates.

State health officials will still collect BMI scores, based on height and weight, for students in grades 1, 4, 7 and 10.

Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett says this information helps determine which anti-obesity programs work.

"We can look in those communities where we're seeing change in BMI and see, what are the assets that got brought into that community to address obesity?" she said. "And those can be lessons learned to hopefully expand to other communities."

State health officials are also taking additional steps to guard privacy with the scores.

This program aired on October 16, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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