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Stop the “Fat Letters” in Massachusetts

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  • Peggy
    Stop the Fat Letters in Massachusetts FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 1, 2013 Foster City, CA - NAAFA supports the passing of Massachusetts House Bill H.2024,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2013
      Stop the "Fat Letters" in Massachusetts

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
      March 1, 2013

      Foster City, CA - NAAFA supports the passing of Massachusetts House Bill H.2024, legislation to prohibit the Department of Public Health from collecting data on students relative to height, weight and body mass indexes.

      In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health adopted a "BMI initiative" requiring public schools to calculate the BMI of children and teens of certain ages and to send the results to the children's parents along with advice for parents on how to deal with the child's weight issues.

      H.2024 seeks to amend Section 1, Chapter 71 of the General Laws by inserting the following language: "(h): No language in this section shall authorize the Department of Public Health to collect data on height, weight, or calculate a student's Body Mass Index."

      Children whose parents were told they were overweight were no more likely to have lost weight than children whose parents were not notified according to the School-Based Body Mass Index Screening and Parent Notification study. The findings were based on data from nearly 7 million children.

      The focus on overweight and obesity has led to increases in body dissatisfaction in children as young as six years of age. Lower body satisfaction does not serve as a motivator for engaging in healthy weight management behaviors, but rather predicts the use of behaviors that may place adolescents at risk for weight gain and poorer overall health according to the study, Does body satisfaction matter?

      CALL TO ACTION:

      NAAFA encourages its members and all concerned residents of Massachusetts to write to or call Governor Deval Patrick as well as committee heads, State Senator John Keenan and State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, and the Department of Public Health in support of the passing of H.2024. Letters and phone calls of support should be directed to:

      Governor Deval Patrick
      Massachusetts State House
      Room 280
      Boston, MA 02133
      617-725-4005

      Lauren Smith, MD, MPH
      Interim Commissioner
      Massachusetts Department of Public Health
      250 Washington Street
      Boston, MA 02108
      617-624-6000

      State Senator John Keenan
      Senate Committee on Public Health Chair
      Massachusetts State House
      Room 504
      Boston, MA 02133
      617-722-1494

      State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez
      House Committee on Public Health Chair
      Massachusetts State House
      Room 130
      Boston, MA 02133
      617-722-2130

      Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.

      On the web: http://www.naafa.org

      For more information contact:
      Peggy Howell, Public Relations Director
      National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA)
      e-mail: pr@... phone: 916-558-6880
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