Beware of Hidden Scales!
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.
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.