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First-Grader Asks 'Am I Fat?' After School Nurse Sends Home Infuriating Letter
A mother in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, is outraged after her daughter brought home a note from the school nurse, informing the family that the first-grader's BMI (body mass index) is too high.
The letter, which Laura Cacdac says her daughter Charley understood, prompted her to ask if something was wrong with her body, said: "From the results of this test, it is suggested that your child's health be examined by a physician, particularly as it relates to the problem suggested by the screening. A problem such as this that goes uncorrected or untreated can severely affect both the health and academic performance of your child." The health screening administered by Palm Beach Gardens Elementary is required by state law.
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Disappointed, Cacdac called the school's nurse, who informed her that Charley's BMI was higher than state standards, indicating that Charley is overweight. However, Charley visits the pediatrician regularly, where her weight and nutrition have never come up as a cause for concern.
"My child's favorite foods are avocados, broccoli and apples...she is perfectly healthy in every way: emotionally, physically and academically," explained Cacdac.
She's worried that the letter's message will stick with her daughter and create body image issues in the future. "Her first question to me was 'Do they think I'm fat? Is there something wrong with me,'" the mom said.
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Meanwhile, Boca Raton, FL, pediatrician Andrew Reiss believes that the screenings are important, telling WPTV that he thinks it "helps families focus on healthy habits," adding, "Sometimes we tell people don't worry everything is fine, but sometimes there is something that can be done better and we involve kids in that discussion."
Cacdac, who says she disagrees with the ways in which the results of the health screenings are communicated with parents, has opted her daughter out of all future health screenings provided by the school.
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