Gwendolyn Williams, a 4'1" 66-pound nine year old student from Staten Island, has been labeled as "overweight" by the New York Department of Education.
Children enrolled in New York's public schools are given a "Fitnessgram" assessment each year that purports to assess the health of the child. While children are told "not to peak" at them, this is basically impossible to enforce. Both Williams and her friend were both labeled as "overweight," and were pretty surprised by the results.
Laura Bruij Williams says her daughter, Gwendolyn Williams, looked at hers, and asked her about it one night while getting ready for bed at their Staten Island home. Gwendolyn is 4 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 66 pounds.
The analysis said her Body Mass Index is "overweight."
"She said 'Mom, school told me that I'm overweight,'" Williams told NBC 4 New York. "I was very angry and upset because I don't want this to be the kind of thing that sticks with her."
While child obesity is definitely a problem, telling relatively slender girls that they're overweight is not going to fix anything. Williams was reportedly one pound over the so-called "healthy" range--which is essentially ridiculous. The human body fluctuates in weight throughout the day. Also, is it really the school's job to arbitrarily label a child's health?
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