Beebe Says Keep BMI Reports, but Conduct Them Less Often

JANUARY 31, 2007 - Posted at 7:40 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Half the state's public-school students would never have their weight checked under Governor Beebe's proposal to modify a program that now provides ``body-mass index'' reports to parents.

Beebe said yesterday he wants to keep the program to track students' weight, but said the ``body mass index'' reports should only be conducted every other year. He also proposed screening the body-mass indices of students in odd-numbered grades only in order to save school resources.

That would mean a student whose weight was checked in the third grade would be weighed again two years later when the student was in the fifth grade. But a fourth-grader who went unchecked the first year would also go unweighed two years later as a sixth-grader.

Beebe had said earlier he wanted to change the 2003 law requiring annual BMI screens for public school students, but had not said whether he supported a proposal to repeal the BMI reports altogether.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)