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Beware of Hidden Scales!

June 3, 2013

Trigger warning: Discussion of family history of eating disorders and concerns about developing one.

I have talked a lot about issues that surround my family history, particularly the part where eating disorders run in my family. Most of the women in our family have had an eating disorder, but now I am finding that my brother is starting to show signs of it. So as a preemptive strike, I have talked with him about weight and food and nutrition and that it is important to eat and NOT focus on his weight.

young boy on scale

Is this really the job of schools?

The kid is just over the “normal” BMI for his age, but you wouldn’t know it. Despite that, he has an issue with showing himself in public, calling himself fat and will get on a scale if you let him. His moods are dictated by the number and he will eat or not eat depending on what it shows. Because of my concern, we don’t have a scale at the house and I don’t let the doctor weigh him when he goes into the office. Why am I telling you this?

Because my 12-year-old brother just recently told me that his school weighed him for some health program.

Oh, I was livid — mostly because I didn’t think that I needed to tell his damn school not to weigh my brother. They aren’t a medical office and if my brother’s doctor doesn’t need his weight, then the school sure as hell doesn’t either. So I went to the school to talk to the nurse and the PE teacher who were responsible for the weigh-in.

Unfortunately the PE teacher wasn’t available, so the nurse was all I could get a hold of. After telling her that my brother doesn’t need to be weighed and our family history of EDs, she told me that it was for some yearly health tracking thing the school does and they do it every year. I told her it was bullshit (nicely, though) and that it was things like that which contribute to the 119% increase in EDs among children 12 and under, which, not coincidentally, they cater to and educate.

It is complete bullshit that I, as a legal guardian to my little brother, have to be wary of spaces that are supposed to be safe places for him. Really, I was more concerned about bullying or favoritism, but weigh-ins? FFS.

In related news, beware of ER bed scales.

Seriously, FFS people.

Kitsune Yokai

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2013 4:43 pm

    Oh Haaaaaaiiilll no. I’m with you; if that had been me I’d have raised a very polite form of hell.

  2. vesta44 permalink
    June 3, 2013 5:41 pm

    I can remember being weighed in PE class, twice a year, when I was in school (they also measured our height). This was back in the 1960s, so it’s been at least 50 years that this BS has been going on (and it was probably going on before that, I don’t think it was a new thing). The numbers were written in the gym teacher’s grade book – WTF, was she going to take our height and weight into consideration when she gave us our grades for PE?
    The only time a school needs to know how much students weigh is if those students are going to be participating in a sport that has weight classes, like wrestling, or you have to meet a minimum height/weight to participate. Other than those reasons, there is no reason a school needs to weigh the students.

  3. June 3, 2013 8:55 pm

    My 14yo son is showing signs of an ED also. School weighing. BMI discussions. Health class teaching calories in = calories out. He’s a hot mess. Recently he was hospitalized for unrelated issues, but the admitting nurse fed into any developing ED by referring him as a “big boy.” it’s frustrating and so hard to see my baby suffering. Especially since I’ve been working on providing him a life free of EDs!

  4. violetyoshi permalink
    June 4, 2013 12:07 am

    That hospital should have the staff fired that did that. It was completely unnecessary, it makes them seem like they hire staff that act like a pack of high school bullies, if the hospital hasn’t been sued before it is likely they will when the queen bee omgs about someone being fat towards someone with an eating disorder or who had an eating disorder.

    This is beyond prejudice, it is malpractice. If doctors and staff cannot handle ER bed weights, they should get rid of them. It’s that simple, if it’s a useful tool, hire staff that can handle that people can be overweight like adults. Not like children who need a punishment

  5. Dizzyd permalink
    June 4, 2013 12:20 am

    The more I hear about these things, the more I weep for the state of the ‘health’ industry.

  6. nof permalink
    June 4, 2013 8:34 am

    I remember having a health class were we had to log all the food we ate and input that and our height/weight and activities into a computer program that gave us an analysis. My analysis was, in hindsight, hilariously wrong and contradictory: it told me that I was overweight and needed to lose weight before I permanently compromised my health, and it also told me that I was seriously undereating and needed to eat more before I permanently compromised my health. That was one of the first inklings I had that authorities had no idea what was healthy for my body.

  7. Dizzyd permalink
    June 4, 2013 4:41 pm

    Nof – And yet, they’re spouting off all this nonsense as if it’s gospel truth! That’s the sickening part of it. They don’t care who they hurt with their lies, just show ’em the money!

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