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ISSN: 2161-0711

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
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Research Article

Student and Parental Perceptions of School-Based Body Mass Index Screening and Notification

Monica Hunsberger1*, Paul McGinnis2, Beth Ann Beamer3 and Jamie Smith4

1University of Gothenburg, Public Health Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Sweden

2Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization, USA

3Saint Charles Health System, Health Promotion Coordinator, USA

4Jefferson County School, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Monica Hunsberger
Researcher, Public Health Epidemiology and Community Medicine
Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Gothenburg, P.O Box No: 454, Sweden
Tel: 0046703382411
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: March 13, 2014; Accepted date: April 18, 2014; Published date: April 21, 2014

Citation: Hunsberger M, McGinnis P, Beamer BA, Smith J (2014) Student and Parental Perceptions of School-based Body Mass Index Screening and Notification. J Community Med Health Educ S2:009. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.S2-009

Copyright: © 2014 Hunsberger M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


To address the childhood obesity epidemic, school-based body mass index (BMI) screening and surveillance is proposed or mandated in 30 states. We examined parent and student perceptions of school-based measuring and reporting in an ethnically diverse school district in Madras, Oregon, USA. Four broad themes emerged from focus groups held separately with parents and students. Students generally expressed a neutral opinion of BMI measurement. Parents felt that they held primary responsibility for their child’s weight. Parents and students perceived BMI notification as important; however, BMI reporting did not widely serve as an impetus for physician involvement or self-reported behavior change. Perceived barriers to behavior change included the lack of a supportive environment, poor access to healthcare, cultural issues, lack of concern over childhood overweight or a minimizing of health risks associated with overweight and poor understanding of the BMI graph and accompanied reporting of health information. Notification letters had limited effectiveness in this community.


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