Child weight data for parents20th November 2007
The government has said that parents will receive information about their children's weight as part of a national programme designed to fight against rising obesity levels.
It has included provisions in the Health and Social Care Bill, which means parents will be given the data.
However the National Child Measurement Programme, which was introduced in 2006, is not mandatory.
Parents previously had to get in touch with their local primary care trust in order to access the results. The DoH said the scheme was still not compulsory and a consultation would be held to find out the best way to distribute the information.
Statistics from the programme's first year revealed that 538,400 children - measured at the ages of five and 11 - took part. This represented under half - 48% - of the number who were eligible.
The Association of Public Health Observatories said this information had to be viewed with "considerable caution."
It said there was reason to suspect that more overweight children had higher rates of "opting out."
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said providing parents with data about their children's weight would help promote healthier living.
"Giving parents clear information about their child's weight is important way of engaging with families, and prompting a conversation about healthy lifestyles and weight issues within the home," he said.
"This change to legislation is not about telling parents what to do, or lecturing them on how to raise their children, it is a way of supporting families to be healthy."
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Title: Child weight data for parents
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 4825
Date Added: 20th Nov 2007