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Otter Mii-kun
September 13th, 2011, 05:09 PM
Saw this story linked on Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV-TV 4's Facebook page:
http://www.clickondetroit.com/health/29174374/detail.html

According to that report, Governor Rick Snyder plans to require Body Mass Index of children to be reported by their doctors to state health officials, as part of the ongoing war on obesity being fought by state, federal, and international governments.

(Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel) calls it "an important step in managing pediatric obesity."

IMHO, while this new proposal may "track" the problem and the trend associated with it, it will NOT reduce childhood obesity. Despite constant government intervention into health and the aforementioned "war", obesity clearly continues to be a growing problem. The War On Obesity is just as big a failure as the War On Drugs (and any other government "war", including the wars on guns, illiteracy, high school and college dropouts, oil companies, electric utilities, etc.)
The only "good" I see coming out of this would be doctors becoming proactive in advising children and their parents about ways to stay healthy and keep weight under control.
Governor Snyder is turning out so far to be every bit Big Brother as Presidents Bush and Obama (and Big Sister previous governor Jennifer Granholm).

twocows
September 13th, 2011, 06:00 PM
Snyder's a jerk. I signed the recall petition against him.

Also, this is silly nanny-state behavior.

Anna
September 13th, 2011, 06:06 PM
What...? BMI isn't an accurate measurement, really. Especially on kids. It doesn't really take body type and such into consideration, so it's not gonna track things real accurately... I ranted on that before, not gonna do it again. Instead of requiring that BMI should be tracked, they should like... be promoting healthy habits and educating kids on proper care of the body. Because giving kids a sense of how things affect them might help more than measuring the effect.

Where am I going with this lol. Main point: this is not something that will help much, if at all.

aruchan
September 13th, 2011, 06:15 PM
BMI is a relatively good scale, but it has issues as it doesn't account for gender differences or muscle mass. It's important to try and curb this youth obesity epidemic, but giving some silly numbers probably won't help. Introducing healthy lunches, better PEs, and various other measures are better bets than this.

Oryx
September 13th, 2011, 06:54 PM
What...? BMI isn't an accurate measurement, really. Especially on kids. It doesn't really take body type and such into consideration, so it's not gonna track things real accurately... I ranted on that before, not gonna do it again. Instead of requiring that BMI should be tracked, they should like... be promoting healthy habit and educating kids on proper care of the body. Because giving kids a sense of how things affect them might help more than measuring the effect.

Where am I going with this lol. Main point: this is not something that will help much, if at all.

I totally agree with you. As a kid, I was told not to worry at all about my weight, that it was just baby fat and would go away eventually without any kind of effort from me. I didn't know the concept of eating healthy. Well, I knew it existed, but that was "adult stuff" that I didn't have to worry about because overweight 12 year olds don't have to care, it'll go away eventually! No one ever really told me how eating healthy is important even as a kid, and exercise, so I had to learn it myself at 15-16 and work my own weight off.

That's what should be changed. Reporting BMI, all it will do is...report things. Doesn't do much against anything.

Zet
September 13th, 2011, 07:02 PM
While he's asking for kid's BMI, he might as well ask for nude pics for "studying" the cause. Asking for the BMI is just pointless, he should just hang up posters promoting healthy eating.

Kura
September 13th, 2011, 07:45 PM
Parents need to learn how to cook kids better meals. It's surprising how many adults don't know how to prepare greens (like broccoli) so there should be some educating there. Parents also need to pack kids some healthier lunches.. or prepare healthier alternatives to food. (Example= homemade pizza instead of delivery pizza.) Takes same amount of time.. and the homemade stuff is cheaper.

Recording BMI isn't really taking action.. it's just taking statistics.

Esper
September 14th, 2011, 08:52 AM
I can't help but feel that any attempts to promote healthy eating, exercise and so on would be met with even more opposition than the collection of statistical data. After all, this is America we're talking about. Americans don't wanna hear nobody telling them what to do, gosh darn it.

But yeah. If you want to help fight childhood obesity then only serve healthy food in your schools and ditch the vending machines, for starters. Ah, but you have to prove to the doubters that there is an obesity problem before you can cut that contract with your fatty snack foods vendor. Perhaps if you had some statistical data... hmm.

Otter Mii-kun
September 14th, 2011, 02:53 PM
Gov. Snyder unveiled his health care plan today. Most of the aspects of it sound like they could've been implemented in ObamaCare (and I wouldn't be surprised if all of them are hidden in there somewhere).

From http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/09/14/gov-snyder-unveils-plan-for-a-healthier-michigan/ :
Gov. Snyder Unveils Plan For A Healthier Michigan
September 14, 2011 3:35 PM

GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder wants to give a booster shot to Michigan’s health care system by tackling obesity, getting more people into wellness programs and setting up an exchange where citizens and businesses can buy health insurance.

The Republican governor unveiled his plans Wednesday during a special message to the Legislature on health and wellness at the Heart of the City Health Center in Grand Rapids.

During the event, Snyder disclosed his body mass index, or BMI, which uses height and weight to estimate body fat, as well as his blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar counts. He plans to post the numbers online and update them if they change.

The governor himself stepped onto a scale Wednesday, which showed he weighed 194 pounds. “I’ve got a few pounds to lose, folks,” Snyder admitted, saying he set a goal of losing 10 pounds by the end of the year.

Skubick said Snyder’s cholesterol is good, “and his blood pressure is good, although it went up during the news conference,” he said.

Snyder said he wants to install a scale at the Capitol for visitors to weigh themselves, reasoning that “there’s no better way than measurement and the opportunity to do this together.”

Among Snyder’s goals are getting more veterans enrolled in health care offered by the Veterans Administration and giving children better access to healthier foods and exercise, and tracking pediatric obesity by adding their body mass measurements to a state registry.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said some may find that part of the governor’s plan controversial.

“If you’re a conservative Republican, this is the government … kind of, you know, getting its nose into your personal business,” said Skubick.

“The governor was asked that, and he said … I understand that but, you know what? This is still the right thing to. If we can track kids from an early age and they show the signs that they might be becoming overweight, maybe we could do something about getting that weight off those young kids,” he said. “So, he’s sticking to his guns on this one.”

The governor also wants to ensure that young pregnant women get prenatal care and children statewide get dental care. He also wants to outlaw smoking on state beaches.

Skubick said there are no government mandates in the governor’s plan, other than mandating insurance coverage for autism treatment, “and there will be some pushback on that from the business community,” Skubick said.

One of Lt. Gov. Brian Calley’s children suffers from autism, but his efforts to push through legislation requiring the coverage have failed in the Senate. Snyder said “it’s time” for Michigan to join the 27 states that require insurers to cover the disorder. (More on this part of the story, here).

Even as he was laying out ways for the state to better serve residents’ health care needs, Snyder called on individuals to take more responsibility for their own health and wellness through what he referred to as the Michigan 4X4 plan. Under the plan, everyone should maintain a healthy diet, engage in regular exercise, get an annual physical exam and avoid all tobacco use, and must have regular checks of their body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol level and blood sugar level measurements.

“If each of us practice the Michigan 4X4 plan, our lives will be fuller, our health costs dramatically reduced and our ability to take advantage of all that is Michigan enhanced,” he said in a copy of his remarks.

As with other initiatives the governor has introduced this year on education and government services, the Snyder administration has created a new health dashboard to measure statewide progress on reaching his goals. He urged local communities to identify their own local health priorities, find ways to address them and evaluate their success.

He praised the Marquette community for increasing physical activity by making walking and biking more accessible, planting community gardens, adding farmers markets and developing workplace wellness policies. And he said the state will draw on experts from all communities when it holds an obesity summit in Lansing on Sept. 21 and an infant mortality summit in Ypsilanti on Oct. 17.

Although Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined more than a dozen other attorneys general in a lawsuit challenging federal health care changes, Snyder said he wants the GOP-controlled Legislature to begin implementing requirements in the federal law this fall. That includes passing legislation setting up Michigan’s version of a health insurance exchange called the MI Health Marketplace.

“Done right, the MI Health Marketplace legislation will allow customers and small businesses to make more efficient and better informed decisions about buying health insurance coverage,” Snyder said. He urged lawmakers to pass the necessary legislation by Thanksgiving so the state can use federal funding to set up the exchange and meet the requirements in the federal law.

The governor wants to take a “fresh look” at how the state regulates Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, which insures 4.3 million state residents, as part of an expansion of health insurance coverage. New rules require insurance providers to cover immunizations and preventative care for women and children, drop coverage limits and make other changes. He also wants to overhaul the 33-year-old state public health code, which doesn’t mention electronic records or address many of the changes in medical services over recent decades.

He said the Medicaid program for low-income patients and the Medicare program for seniors would be better coordinated under his plan, potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars. The state has received a $1 million federal grant to make the transition to a coordinated program by October 2012.
The governor also is having his administration review the state’s 25 health profession licensing boards and task forces and decide if Michigan should instead accept national accreditation or certification for health care professionals.

“Health is the foundation for Michigan’s economic transformation,” Snyder said. “In order to see real improvement in our public health, and to make rising health care costs as manageable as possible, all levels of government, the private sector and individual Michiganders have a part to play.”

The Associated Press contribued to this report.

Sodom
September 14th, 2011, 04:16 PM
The war on obesity is something that has always rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, it is a problem that needs addressing, but any action taken by the government really is overstepping. Weight issues should be handled in the home. Certainly, there should be government support systems set up to aid those who choose to help themselves, but if people are overweight it really is no business of the government to intervene without invitation. Simply put, they need to butt the hell out of our lives.

The thing about this is that it will make life harder for the kids involved. The only solution that they ever came up with in the war on obesity here in New South Wales, Australia, was to add more PE into the curriculum. This made my life hell for years - the night before I had a PE class, I would wake up stressing about it because the whole process is just terrible and so humiliating for an overweight kid. PE was bad for my mental state, it really is a form of torture. I'm not overweight anymore, but that's because I made the decision to fix myself, the government didn't make it for me.

The point I'm trying to make is this: Exercise should be encouraged, not enforced - the same goes for healthy eating.

Alley Cat
September 15th, 2011, 06:24 AM
Where I live, California, being within a certain BMI range is the requirement for physical fitness tests. Not that I can see why it matters. Well, that's 1 test. We have mile, push-ups, sit-ups, BMI, sit-n-reach, and trunk lift. We have to pass 5/6. Which for a lot of people who can't make the BMI(due to being too obese or with a different body type) HAVE to beat the mile.

I personally think that looking at BMI is pointless. Even though we get checked for BMI, we got this paper that said many people are outside of the BMI range, but still perfectly healthy. My friend is like 6%, yet still is not anorexic or whatever. These are inaccurate results, I know, because we have two machines to test for BMI, and plenty of people failed on one, yet passed on another.

But like Shining Raichu said, the government can't stop the obesity problem. There is nothing anybody can do. The power to end obesity comes from within each individual. No amount of prodding from the government or ANY outside source will be able to make the choice to change for them. The government needs to encourage, rather than force. Simply for the fact, that a lot of people are stubborn and just don't like being told what to do.

Eitherway, the government has been fighting obesity the same way for years. They need to change-up their strategy if they ever want to be me with success.

Where I live, California, being within a certain BMI range is the requirement for physical fitness tests. Not that I can see why it matters. Well, that's 1 test. We have mile, push-ups, sit-ups, BMI, sit-n-reach, and trunk lift. We have to pass 5/6. Which for a lot of people who can't make the BMI(due to being too obese or with a different body type) HAVE to beat the mile.

I personally think that looking at BMI is pointless. Even though we get checked for BMI, we got this paper that said many people are outside of the BMI range, but still perfectly healthy. My friend is like 6%, yet still is not anorexic or whatever. These are inaccurate results, I know, because we have two machines to test for BMI, and plenty of people failed on one, yet passed on another.

But like Shining Raichu said, the government can't stop the obesity problem. There is nothing anybody can do. The power to end obesity comes from within each individual. No amount of prodding from the government or ANY outside source will be able to make the choice to change for them. The government needs to encourage, rather than force. Simply for the fact, that a lot of people are stubborn and just don't like being told what to do.

Eitherway, the government has been fighting obesity the same way for years. They need to change-up their strategy if they ever want to be me with success.

BareBones
September 15th, 2011, 03:09 PM
I don't think getting the BMI of children will help in any way. As previously stated, BMI tends to be inaccurate on some people due to body type and gender differences.
For example, my BMI is 18.5, whereas the lowest boundary for healthy weight on the BMI scale for someone of my height and weight is 19.5.
So technically, I am underweight, however the doctors said it has very little to do with any of the afflictions I suffer with. Even he admitted that the BMI scale wasn't entirely accurate and that my weight wasn't much too worry about (though I could do with gaining a little weight). I believe the same goes for people who are overweight.

If they want to reduce obesity they should enforce more lessons of physical education in schools, especially in the younger years. They should also advertise healthier foods in the food halls and also start encouraging healthier meals to be cooked at home. A surprising amount lies with how caregivers deal with meals and the snacking habits of the child.

Melody
September 16th, 2011, 09:23 AM
BMI is a flawed system, even when applied to fully grown adults who have stable muscle, bone and other internal organ masses...and it's even more flawed when applied to children.

Not to mention a person's BMI should ideally be private information protected by Doctor/Patient privilege. Weight is something you choose to lose. Eating right is a choice. No amount of nanny-state meddling will stop kids from making bad choices like that because they simply cannot step into the home life. They can intervene all they want at school but as Shining Raichu said that equates to P.E. which to most overweight children IS synonymous to torture.

This sort of band-aid legislation is just the sort of junk Politicians latch on to so they can say they "Tried" to fix the problem, and it's disgusting.

-ty-
September 17th, 2011, 01:30 PM
I think that body fat percentage would be a good alternative. I think that the government should be a little weary of overstepping in this situation though. I would say that a child with a body fat percentage of 40% or more should really be given proper care. If the parents are not going to do anything about, then the government should. The same is if a child has any other life-threatening condition. However if the child has 30% or less body fat, I am just throwing a random number out there, I would say that yeah the kid is overweight but there is no "urgent" need to step in. Should we have legislation? no. Should teachers report parents for child neglect if their children are morbidly obese and it is affecting their health, yes. Then the state can deal with the matter on a case-by-case fashion.