Skip to comments.Healthy Choices Act Requires Doctors to Track Body Mass Index of Children 2 to 18
Posted on 05/13/2010 3:21:18 AM PDT by Man50D
A bill introduced this month in Congress would require states that receive federal dollars for health programs to track the Body Mass Index of children ages 2 through 18 annually through records collected by their health care providers. The legislation also requires the states to pass that data on to the Department of Health and Human Services for analysis.
The Healthy Choices Act introduced in the House Ways and Means Committee by committee member Ron Kind (D-Wis.) establishes and funds a wide range of programs and regulations aimed at reducing obesity rates by such means as putting nutritional labels on the front of food products, subsidizing businesses that provide fresh fruits and vegetables, and collecting BMI measurements of patients and counseling those that are overweight or obese.
In Section 101, the bill amends the Public Health Services Act by adding BMI as a measurement that health care professionals must assess annually on all patients and specifically for all children who are in federally funded health programs such as SCHIP.
The providers then report the data to the state or other entity (i.e., tribal authorities or health officials in the District of Columbia), which then will give the data collected over several years to the federal government for analysis.
BMI is calculated by taking ones weight in pounds and height in inches, multiplying that number by ones height in inches and then multiplying that number by 703. Any number over 24 is considered overweight, with higher numbers resulting in a diagnosis of obese (BMI = [weight / (height x height)] x 703).
To pay for implementing BMI data gathering, Sec. 102 of the bill states that the federal government will give grants to states that meet certain criteria, including having the capacity to store basic demographic information (including date of birth, gender and geographic area of residence), height, weight, and immunization data for each resident of the state.
The grants also will pay for personnel and equipment necessary to measure patients BMI.
The criterion a state must meet to get a grant includes specific conditions for children:
As a condition of receiving a grant under this section, a state shall ensure that BMI measurements will be recorded for children ages 2 through 18 on an annual basis by a licensed physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, or physicians assistant during an annual physical examination, wellness visit or similar visit with a physician.
The grants also require that if a childs BMI is greater than the 95 percentile for the childs age and gender, the state will provide information on how to lower BMI and information on state and local obesity prevention programs.
When asked by CNSNews.com how the federal government can require individuals to have their BMI measured and assessed, a spokesperson for Kind said the bill doesnt require people to go to a medical professional to have their BMI assessed, but rather is additional information that will be gathered as part of a routine medical visit.
The spokesperson said that patients already comply when their doctor or nurse record their height and weight, which is all that is needed to determine BMI.
The spokesperson also said that any data used to generate a report on the BMI data collected would not include patients names.
The bill also requires HHS to share with Congress and other government officials, including the secretaries of education and agriculture, its analysis of the BMI data collected not more than one year after it gathers all of the data from states.
This analysis, the bill states, would attempt to identify obesity trends in regions of the United States and how those trends vary according to gender and socioeconomic status although the bill does not spell out how socioeconomic status of patients would be determined.
On May 6, the bill was referred to the House subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
Co-sponsors of the bill are Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) and Gregorio Sablan (D-Mich.)
At a press conference last week to announce the introduction of the bill, Kind emphasized it would help busy American families.
Making the healthy choice the easy choice for our families is essential to ensuring our quality of life, Kind said. I am pleased to work on legislation that helps provide the opportunities that meet the needs of busy American families.
"Mommy, teacher pinched my belly with some plastic pincher things"
There is no Constitutional authority for the powers being assumed by the federal government in this bill.
But you knew that.
have to keep the livestock in good market condition
“no Constitutional authority”.....True, but look at how many new bureaucrats can be hired to collect and analyze the data which will have to be revised each month due to a glitch in the computer programming, which will require more appropriations next year to streamline the procedures, plus the additional new employees to keep track of more required data as new regulations are drafted and implemented.
Maybe the government should stop feeding these kids breakfast and lunch everyday.
“no constitutional authority” Will the DCF care about the constitution when they come to take away your too fat kids? That will be the “enforcement” end of this.
The BMI guidelines are idiotic. I’ve used one to measure body fat loss. I’m about 6’ 205lbs, and the “guideline” was so low I’d have lose another 30 lbs to meet it.
I’m 54 - can bench near my weight(except for a recent impingement that’s put me out of the gym and off the golf course argggh!). I’d need to train like a 20yr old marathon runner to meet the guidelines.
Don’t worry, another couple years of this Democrat liberal workers’ so called paradise and food will get so expensive that we’ll all be rail thin.
Top 10 Reasons Why BMI is Bogus
If they want “Healthy Choices” start with the food stamp people. Give them meals that they microwave. Control their portions. Then come and talk to me.
At a child’s yearly physical, a parent can refuse any part of the assessment. I can just say, please do not collect height and weight on my child.
I guess these idiots are not listening ....YET.
My two teenagers are both very thin and very muscular. Their BMI ranks in the upper percentile for their ages. The BMI works for most people, but at the extremes is not very accurate. Particularly for those under 18
Or should my 16 year old daughter who is a size 3 and dances 4-8 hours per day really get in better shape and lose weight? The unintended consequences of this could also be huge. I think we should take adolescent girls at high risk for eating disorders and constantly measure their BMI, then give them their percentile ranking. I don’t see a problem here, do you? /s
And they will in turn, turn you in to the Fat Police.
“The BMI guidelines are idiotic. Ive used one to measure body fat loss. Im about 6 205lbs, and the guideline was so low Id have lose another 30 lbs to meet it.”
Yep, I am 6’0”, and weigh 240. Am I a little overweight, sure, but like you said, I can bench near my weight, I can still pass the Marine Corps PFT with 1st class numbers - but my doctor told me I am MORBIDLY OBESE! I asked him if he wanted to start working out with me and see how untrue that statement was? All he said, was well according to the charts, blah, blah, blah. He showed me the chart and according to it, I would need to weigh 186 pounds to be “normal.” Anything higher meant I was overweight. I told him I weighed 186# as a freshman in high school - I couldn’t get down to that weight if my life depended upon it! Heck the best shape I have ever been in was right after Marine Corps boot camp, and I only got down to 196# and I couldn’t stay awake. I even complained about it to the docs - I got a weight waiver to 220#!
These charts are STUPID! I told him if he mentions my weight again, I would find another doctor. He no longer says anything about my weight!
“My two teenagers are both very thin and very muscular.”
My niece is a professional dance instructor and she rides horses and works the family farm. She has been doing this since she was 12.
She is only 5’0”, but weighs close to 150#. According to the charts she is borderline obese! But, she wears a size 5! She is SOLID muscle! Those charts may be “most people” but they are NOT fail proof!
This is worse than the global warming crap. A typical small forward on a basketball team who was just the slightest bit more heavily built than normal would look like a refugee from Auschwitz at 6'4", 210, and yet would have a bmi of around 26.
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