Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
We all know kids can be cruel... particularly about appearance. If you're an overweight kid, your classmates are unlikely to let you forget it for a second. Used to be, intervention from a teacher or administrator could provide a brief respite for the tormented. But now schools are piling on too, even going so far as to include a student's BMI (body mass index) on his or her report card, right alongside those A's in algebra and Spanish and that B in social studies. Undeniably, obesity is a problem for American kids, and no one wants to see them suffer the health problems that accompany 50 or 100 — or more — extra pounds. But what about the mental anguish these kids deal with on a daily basis? Does making BMI a measure like an SAT or SOL score help identify kids in trouble, or does it just magnify their pain? As a parent, do you want your kids' physical fitness on their report cards? How does it help... or hurt?