Letter to parents about their overweight children toned down

Yahoo News reported that the NHS have been issuing letter templates to local authorities in preparation for the national weigh-in programme for school children. The NHS guidance has taken effect due to school nurses and health experts sending out letters the previous year, which have received numerous complaints and deemed as insensitive.

Letters from the previous year included scare tactics and judgemental criticisms that were described as “awful” by Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum.  An uproar arose when some parents were being told their slim child is overweight due to their BMI, which was included within the letter.

Rich Ralph, a Holistic Nutritionist and Bio-Energetics Practitioner reported to fitnessgoop that “We have now started labelling our children with ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ labels according to their BMI, even if the child is completely healthy. If BMI is not reliable for adults, why would we even consider applying these principles to our children?”

The new letter template, compiled by the NHS for this upcoming academic year, is said to be “non-judgemental and positively phrased”, with the language used to describe the effects of being overweight toned down.

The NHS guidance identified that it "is important to consider that parents receiving the letter may be sensitive to the information and feel that their parenting skills are being criticised". In conjunction with receiving a letter signed by the school nurse, the parent will also be pointed in the right direction on how to receive necessary advice and support.

The National Child Measurement Programme, overseen by the Public Health England is "fundamental to efforts to tackle childhood obesity in England". It is hoped that with the adapted, more subtle approach to the reporting of obese children to parents, the parents will be more responsive and willing to put the effort in to decrease the weight of their children, according to NHS guidance.

For more information on pupil obesity letters, go to: