fbpx Skip to content


School-Based BMI Screening Programs

We all know that childhood obesity is at an all-time high in many developed nations. Health experts say that the earlier a child is identified as having a weight problem, the earlier interventions can begin to stave off the development of obesity-related conditions, such as type 2
diabetes and hypertension.

A public school in the East Penn School District in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, recently initiated a BMI screening program for students in kindergarten through grade 12. The program was developed and implemented by the public school district’s nursing staff (with significant administrative support), using guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC guidelines help identify children who are underweight, within established norms, at risk of becoming overweight or already overweight, based on their age and gender.

Parents of the participating students were notified by mail of the results of their kids’ BMI screening. District-wide, the number of underweight and overweight kids has decreased since screening began 5 years ago. Since its inception, the program has been instrumental in keeping the number of overweight children in the district
below the national average among the students.

According to the researchers who profiled this screening program in Nutrition Today (2006; 41 [6], 274–79), “What began as a growth screening program
resulted in comprehensive changes to improve nutrition and physical activity for students.”

We think the school district deserves an “A” for effort
in making fitness happen for the students in its care.


Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up tp date with our latest news and products.