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Benefits, Risks in State-Mandated School-Based BMI Assessments

18th September, 2023

[Source:  Science Daily]

A University of Massachusetts Amherst resource economist finds mandated in-school Body Mass Index (BMI) assessments adopted in varying forms by 24 states to combat childhood obesity have the potential to improve the health of some students while introducing body-image issues for others. The research is believed to be the first to assess these policies as a whole, rather than in single states or school districts.

“In states that passed these laws, overweight and obese teens were more likely to correctly describe their bodies as such, compared to states that do not have these mandates,” says Brandyn Churchill, assistant professor of resource economics at UMass Amherst. “But the unintended consequence is that non-overweight girls were also more likely to describe themselves as overweight. They were less likely to describe themselves as a healthy weight.”

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