N21 — May 2013 — Preschool BMI Screening
Intro: The obesity epidemic is serious business, especially when it comes to kids. Being overweight or obese as a child puts you at risk of being overweight as an adult. And it increases your risk of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. Experts at Mayo Clinic are working to prevent obesity in kids. They've teamed up with school districts to add body mass index screening to the standard screening kids go through before they start kindergarten.
"Hi Sam, my name is Mary. I'm one of the teachers here."
It's preschool screening day for four year old Sam Recks.
"You've come to play my four year old games."
This school district in Rochester, Minnesota, like many across the country, screens all 3 to 5 year olds before they start school. They test things such as height, hearing,
"Your ears work really well, yay!"
"Have you played peek-a-boo with your eyes before?"
And other areas.
"It's important to make sure your child is developing the way they should by so they are going to be ready for kindergarten.
Now, they've added body mass index, or BMI, to the list.
"1 in 3 children is either overweight or obese."
Mayo Clinic Dr. Esther Krych [Kritch]and colleagues developed the BMI screening material. They want to identify kids whose BMI is too high and educate parents.
"Our goal is to try to stop the problem before it starts, and that's really prevention."
If a child is found to be overweight or obese, which little Sam is not, the school offers parents information supplied by Mayo Clinic that can help.
"Teaching parents how to keep their child active and how to make healthy choices about eating habits."
Habits that can improve the health of children not just during the school years, but for a lifetime.
"Hi five! Bye, nice work!"
For Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.
Again, being overweight or obese as a child can increase the risk of obesity in adulthood. Plus it can increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease, sleep apnea and diabetes.
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