This from the Chicago Tribune by Hailey Branson-Potts, Erin Meyer and Dawn Rhodes:
Elmhurst students have long been checked on how long it takes to run a mile or whether they can do a pushup. But another physical fitness assessment tool has some parents fuming one that aims at finding out whether their kids are too hefty.

A child's "body mass index," a computation of body fat based on height and weight, was one of six tests used at Hawthorne Elementary School to determine the physical fitness grade on a student's progress report.

But that practice ended abruptly Tuesday after about 25 parents met with school officials to express their displeasure with how the BMI data were being used. One mother broke into tears as she described how it affected her fourth-grade daughter.

Quickly responding to those concerns, school officials said they would stop using the index as part of a progress report grade. Hawthorne Elementary was the only school among the 13 in Elmhurst Community Unit District 205 to use the BMI that way, officials said.

"The current research does not support the use of BMI data for grading purposes," said Connie Chester, the school district's curriculum coordinator.

The district will continue BMI measurements in all its schools, but probably won't share the information with individual students at the elementary level, an official said. The district needs to continue the measurements because those statistics are needed when applying for fitness grants, she said.

Beth Fazzio has a daughter at the school, which two other daughters also attended. The BMI exam, she said, always raised concerns with them about their weight.

"They'd say, 'Am I too fat? We've got to run more and do more sit-ups,'" she said. "This (concern) is not coming from the home."

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