Weighing children in schools: How an innovative scheme could curb childhood obesity

Government statistics show that nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 in England are now classified as overweight or obese.

 And this week, the BBC reported that millennials are set to be the most overweight generation since records began.

The report is quite timely, since Marsden has just partnered with an innovative scheme that has been set up to help curb the trend of increasing obesity rates.

A month ago, the Mail Online ran a story about a ‘controversial’ plan to introduce weigh-ins in schools in Australia. However, there is a similarly innovative scheme that has already been running for some time much closer to home: NHS CHAMP (Children’s Health And Monitoring Programme), in Manchester.

Since 2006, primary aged children in Reception and in Year 6 have been weighed and measured in the school setting as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP); individuals’ results are routinely offered to parents via letter.

A child’s growth pattern is a fundamental indicator of health and wellbeing yet overweight in children is almost impossible to recognise by sight.

Weighing children annually

Then, in 2015, the NHS in Manchester took the bold step of measuring all primary aged children annually and feeding back individual results to parents via the website www.champ.mft.nhs.uk. Research over the past three years has shown that children whose parents register with NHS CHAMP are more likely to follow a healthier growth pattern.

The NHS in Manchester has found that parents are universally interested in their children’s growth and are best placed to support positive lifestyle change. NHS CHAMP is consulting with young people to understand whether they would like to learn about their own growth and development.

NHS CHAMP is a multi-partnership scheme – Marsden is one partner - and will see the NHS in Manchester producing a digital growth chart for every child attending a Manchester primary school. This digital growth chart will inform the advice and help provided to parents, and also help the NHS in Manchester to understand what needs to be done to reduce childhood obesity.

Over the coming months, Marsden will be acting in an advisory role to NHS CHAMP, and will report any updates and developments here on our blog.

Weighing scales for classrooms

As part of a child health programme, measuring weight and height offers valuable information and adds to a holistic picture of health and wellbeing. Feeding back growth information can influence positive behaviour change - but the feedback must be trusted and value driven.

Marsden Class III Approved weighing scales are perfect for weighing children, particularly those with a separate indicator to allow you to take a weight reading more discreetly.

The Marsden M-425: A popular choice among schools due to the scale’s separate indicator. This is the scale that NHS CHAMP use and it allows them to take a weight reading, and the children do not have to see what their weight is. It has a 220kg capacity and graduations to 50g (below 150kg).

The Marsden M-420: This is a lightweight and portable floor scale, powered by 6x AA batteries. It has a 220kg capacity and graduations of 50g<150kg>100g.

The Marsden M-545: Alternatively the Marsden M-545 Floor Scale also comes with a separate indicator. This scale features BMI, Hold and Tare functions, as well as a BSA (Body Surface Area)  function - unique to Marsden scales.

 To browse Marsden’s range of weighing scales for schools, click here. For floor scales, click here.

You can download our free guide for weighing children and babies here.

For more information on any Marsden weighing scales, call 01709 364 296 or contact us here. You can find out more about NHS CHAMP here.

8 thoughts on “Weighing children in schools: How an innovative scheme could curb childhood obesity”

  • Christopher Cramer

    School's must be aware of their students health as well. They can start with the food they serve at school canteen and some of other food that they serve.

  • David Salamone

    Why we promote a healthy lifestyle? While they are still young, they would know the importance of the children's health and they can enjoy their lives today.

  • Agnes Electra Chlebinska

    Children and teenagers need to grow, but they are healthiest if they stay within a certain weight range as they grow. This is called a healthy weight for their age.

  • Bethany Hughes

    These terms often mean the same thing. Childhood obesity is the more common term used in newspapers, on the radio, and in other media. However, childhood overweight is the accepted clinical term. This is similar to “high blood pressure” (common term) and “hypertension” (clinical term). Children under 18 years old are defined clinically as overweight if they are above the 95th percentile of body mass index (BMI) for their age and gender. Children are at risk for overweight if their BMI percentile falls between the 85th and 95th percentiles for their age and gender. We use the term obesity if we are referring to the general condition, and overweight if we are speaking in medical terms or referring to data.

  • Valerie Chavez

    It's great that you've made a commitment to lose weight — and had success with a plan that works for you. But it's not a good idea to put kids on diets that are designed for adults.

    Kids have different nutritional needs and they should eat a variety of healthy foods. A well-balanced diet that includes different food groups will help your daughter get all the nutrients she needs.

    If you're concerned about your daughter's weight, talk with your doctor, who can determine if she has a weight problem and tailor a plan to meet her specific needs.

    And try to make a healthy lifestyle a family affair. Eat family meals together and find activities that all of you can enjoy, from bike rides to hikes, to pre-meal games of capture the flag. Making good nutrition and regular exercise the norm in your household will help your kids adopt those healthy habits for life.

  • Jack Bailey

    Almost 60% more children in their last year of primary school are classified as "severely obese" than in their first year, according to Public Health England figures for England and Wales.

    The Local Government Association (LGA) said this shows children are becoming fatter as they go through school.

    But what does "severely obese" mean?

    Every year, Public Health England - part of the Department of Health and Social Care - measures children aged four and five, and children aged 10 and 11 in England. This year, for the first time, they included a "severely obese" category.

    It defined severe obesity as children in the heaviest 0.4% of weights for their age.

  • Maddison Preston

    Kids health will always be our priority as parents, however, we don't want them to not spoil them of the food they could also enjoy. This is where the problem starts because they will have their favorite food and when they say favorite, they will ask for it all the time. This is where we should take care of them from time to time and ensure that they will also have a healthy lifestyle to balance it all. It is also helpful that the school itself also has their own way on how they can also do something to have their kids appreciate having a healthy lifestyle and embrace it.

  • Darrel Pontejo

    This is also a good action to take care the health of the students at the school. We could monitor the kid's health by this and can talk to their parents about what to do to help their kids with their health.

Leave a Reply