Parents criticize 'Fat Letters' in North Andover, Massachusetts

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Public health and school officials in North Andover, Massachusetts are being criticized for sending home so-called 'fat letters' with obese children.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says 32 percent of North Andover's students are overweight or obese. A screening process uses body mass index to determine whether a child is overweight. They also determine whether a student is underweight.

The department then sends home letters showing the results of the screenings, which families can opt out of.

The letters, meant to be a useful tool, advise parents of their child's obesity and urge them to address the issue.

But some parents say schools are going too far.

Cameron Watson is in the 4th grade and plays football, baseball wrestling and other sports. Cameron's father called the letters "a waste" because he feels BMI does not take into account the muscle mass.

"No one wants get a letter being told they are obese that's a very strong, uncomfortable word and we just didn't see it fitting with our son. He's very active, he's very strong," Cameron's father told CNN.

Cameron's mother is now working to with state representatives to stop the fat letters.

"I don't think all of a sudden we have to wake-up and say the people of Massachusetts need to be told everything to do with their kids, whether it's to feed them a cupcake or to feed them broccoli," Cameron's father said.

What do you think of these fat letters?

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