It's a fine line between fat-shaming and, well, fat-informing, as parents in Massachusetts can attest.
Select students in the city of Andover, a bit north of Boston, are seeing their Body Mass Index tracked, and their guardians notified
by mail if state officials deem the number to be dangerously unhealthy. The so-called "fat letters," however, aren't going over well with some parents, who not only disagree with the claim that their children are fat, but resent the recommendation that they schedule a visit with their kid's pediatrician. The letters, a result of a "BMI Initiative" launched in 2009, are part and parcel (if you will) of the Bay State's goal of mitigating its obesity-related health troubles.
"Honestly, I laughed," said one parent of a child involved in both sports and martial arts who was nonetheless dubbed a chub. Others worry about the possible stigma felt by kids singled out by the scarlet letters:
"Some of these children laughed at these letters because they know it's ridiculous, while others become upset, depressed and ashamed, even though they are far from obese."