If the latest bid to cut childhood obesity catches on over here, then A, B and C on your child’s report card could soon be joined by B, M and I.
School pupils in Malaysia are to be scored on their weight as well as their exam results, with their Body Mass Index (BMI) – a ratio of height to weight – to appear on their report card. The country’s health minister said the initiative is designed to let parents know if their child is a healthy weight.
“By listing students’ BMI on their report cards, parents have the means to know whether their child’s weight is ideal, overweight or obese,” said health minister Liow Tiong Lai.
Just like Jamie Oliver with those turkey twizzlers in the UK, Malaysia has banned unhealthy canteen food as it tries to reduce obesity levels among under 18s.
Parents and teachers have welcomed the move, saying it would help parents seek advice on how to keep their offspring healthy.
Similar moves to record schoolkids’ weight in the UK have been criticised by parents as another example of the ‘nanny state’.
The government introduced the controversial National Child Measurement Programme in 2005, which measures the BMI of pupils as young as 4, to assess levels of obesity in UK schools.