Hollister School District Informs Parents of Children’s Weight Problems
The Hollister School District has begun to send letters to the parents of students considered overweight, "advising them to seek medical help" for their children, abcNEWS.com reports. The district began to inform parents after officials found a "sharp rise" in obesity-related problems such as Type II diabetes, a disease often found in adults. "Five years ago, we probably had one or two kids in the schools," Carol Kemp, a district nurse, said, adding, "And now we have over 20 who have diabetes." Hollister also has developed programs to encourage students to exercise. The letters have raised concerns from some parents, who say that the school has overstepped its boundaries. "I don't believe [weight management is] the school's job," parent Mathew Oates said, adding, "I believe it's between the child and the parent and your family doctor." Dr. William Deitz of the CDC, a leading expert on childhood obesity, said that schools and parents should work together to manage childhood weight problems. "(Being) overweight in this country is not simply a behavioral problem within families. It's a broader environmental problem which has lots of roots in the way our culture now operates," he said. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry estimates that between 16% and 33% of children and adolescents nationwide are obese (abcNEWS.com, 6/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.