'Fat letters' sent home with students; Some parents don't agree with efforts to curb obesity

Schools in North Andover, Mass., are trying to help students fight obesity. But some families say the schools are going too far.

Cameron Watson isn't just a strong athlete.

"I wrestle, play football, baseball, I ride bikes, play basketball, baseball, MMA," he said.

He's also a tough fourth-grader who didn't let a 'fat letter' sent home get him down.

"I know I'm not obese so I don't really care about the letter," Cameron said. "I just crumpled it up.

Letters like that one are going to plenty of homes.

The Department of Public Health in Massachusetts says 32 percent of our students have a body mass index that shows they're overweight or obese.

The letters are supposed to be a helpful tool for parents.

Cameron's dad says they're a waste because they don't take into account muscle mass.

"No one wants get a letter being told they are obese," Matt Watson said. "That's a very strong, uncomfortable word and we just didn't see it fitting with our son. He's very active, he's very strong."

While cam continues to wrestle in elite clubs, his mom is working with state representatives to stop these 'fat letters.'

"I don't think all of a sudden we have to wake-up and say the people of Massachusetts need to be told everything to do with their kids," said Jim Lyons, a member of the state general court. "Whether it's to feed them a cupcake or to feed them broccoli."

For Cameron, he says he has the self-esteem to overlook a label, but he's more worried about his friends who might not be as strong.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is also sending letters home to students who are underweight.

The department says all families have the option of not having their children screened for their body mass index.


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