Should schools carry on weighing kids?


16th February 2023

A GROUP of scientists has said that England’s National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) could be doing more harm than good.

The scheme was set up as part of the Government’s attempts to tackle childhood obesity. Local councils ask schools to measure the height and weight of all kids in reception and Year 6, then the figures are sent to NHS Digital.

Parents have the right to say they don’t want their children to be involved, but 92% of kids took part last time. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London looked at kids who were classed as ‘overweight’ or ‘very overweight’ and say that many of those taking part felt anxious or embarrassed about being weighed and getting the results.

Some parents said they were worried that the measuring could affect their child’s mental health or lead to unhealthy dieting attempts or even eating disorders. The researchers say that childhood obesity is strongly linked to poverty and that the Government should do more to tackle poverty and the way the food industry promotes unhealthy food.

They say the NCMP produces lots of valuable data, but that it should be changed to avoid long-term damage to kids. The report claims that “the children and parents who the programme particularly sets out to help are at most risk of harm as a result of it”.

Is it helpful to weigh kids when many are anxious about it? Take part in our poll and leave a comment so we know how you feel about it.

Should schools carry on weighing kids?


Leave a Reply

mistywater · 1 year ago

I don’t know really, but I am in year 7 now, and had it done last year. It was fine at my school, nobody was anxious really. So, I think, carry on with it, but carry on letting people opt out.

jamessaysw · 1 year ago


einstein2 · 1 year ago

They shouldn’t continue weighing kids as kids who are classed as “overweight” by their classmates, often feel bad about it and start thinking that because they are “fat” they should hate their bodies. When schools weight kids, students are often pressured into sharing weights and this can lead to fat shaming and exclusions.

ivansp2011 · 1 year ago

I think it should be private so children won't feel embarassed, however, it is important to see how much kids grow overweight and how it changes over time.

max1234 · 1 year ago

No as a child could have low self-esteem after the weighing if they are too ,well, let’s say, overweight.

cutiecat15 · 1 year ago

No because people have privacy and some children do not want to show their wheight to teachers (or whoever takes the measurements) because they need privacy. And also some kids are heavier than others, but they don’t want to show that.

axapus · 1 year ago

If it leaves long term damage you should not because if the kids classed "overweight" might stop eating and feel really bad about themselves and that would do more damage. · 1 year ago

No they should stop it. It is unhealthy to do and can just lead to eating disorders. Also, using height and weight are sometimes not even accurate, especially at that age when kids are growing so much, because whether you're a good weight for you can also depend on bone and muscle structures, not just height. The government should focus on making healthier food available, and helping people to have a more balanced lifestyle instead of weighing children.

aces10 · 1 year ago

Although weighing children may be important to keep track of health and obesity levels of schoolchildren, there are more negative impacts than positive. Many children will feel embarrassed, and could develop eating disorders, which would just make it worse, doing the opposite of what the weighing is for. On the other hand, the data could help organisations reduce the problem in the first place. A solution could be doing it completely anonymously, possibly in a room without anyone watching, so children don’t feel embarrassed or judged.

flamingo27 · 1 year ago

I think that school should keep on weighing kids as if they did not then they would not know if children were unhealthy or overweight. If children were feeling anxious then they should speak to an adult about it.

bonniebill · 1 year ago

I think that weighing children helps us understand the changes of child health through the years. Without it we wouldn't know if changing schools meals or campaigns would make a difference!

pandagem · 1 year ago

I didn't even know about this government scheme until now. I think that if kids aren't comfortable they shouldn't be weighed as weight can be a sensitive topic.

uniquestar · 12 months ago

I very recently went through this and it can be very embarrassing for children who are very tall or short, heavy or light. It is not fair to put pressure on their shoulders!

svarghese · 12 months ago

Ok I just read only abt fat shaming even tho it is true but can we pls not forget abt skinny shaming it is a thing

henken10 · 12 months ago

Only with parent/guardian permission and it should also ALWAYS be done by a NHS nurse

rabbit789 · 12 months ago

No beacause my school dosent do it and there's no good reason for it

axolotl- · 12 months ago

I think it is ok as long as it is kept private.

splashy10 · 12 months ago

Even though it’s important to weigh kids so they know if they need to go on a diet or not, they shouldn’t do it in school. People discuss the weights and you could get embarrassed. It’s best doing it in private in a doctors room.

potterwolf · 12 months ago

If kids feel insecure about it’s not fair on them! If people feel worried and insecure dont do it!

dolphin26 · 12 months ago

I'm in Year 7, and they did the tests last year, and nobody worried, and everything was fine, but I think they should make it optional if you want to take the "tests". And btw, I agree with mistywater

enderman10 · 11 months ago

No because it could give children eating disorders and could possibly make them more overweight. Also it doesn’t help children's self esteem. I think they could support children by helping them to balance their food a bit more.

lavu · 11 months ago

no, because people could make fun of your weight which is the complete wrong thing to do.

0039.kapsc · 11 months ago

Weight is like privacy to some people so I do not think it is the right thing to do

ramblebook · 11 months ago

Yes, to keep safe and healthy kidsXx

mimi365 · 10 months ago

It is absolutely not right for people to weigh students without their or their parents permission. Also it can embarrass kids in front of their friends and lower their self esteem

mimi365 · 10 months ago

It is absolutely not right for people to weigh students without their or their parents permission. Also it can embarrass kids in front of their friends and lower their self esteem. It’s not right unless they have a good reason for it