Grafton Students Score Lower On Obesity Report Than Mass. Average

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Grafton Students scored lower than the Massachusetts state average for obesity.
Grafton Students scored lower than the Massachusetts state average for obesity. Photo Credit: Wiki Commons

GRAFTON, Mass.  - Grafton students are, as a group, in better shape than most children in Massachusetts.

A new study released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health show that 23.3 percent of the Grafton students polled in select grades are either overweight or obese, the state average is 32.4 percent.

Broken down, of the 1,036 students whose weight and height were measured, then scored on a standard body mass index, 23.8 percent of the boys and 22.7 percent of the girls tipped the scale.  The study, taken during the 2010-11 school year, only included the MCAS evaluation grades 1, 4, 7, and 10. 

Trish Parent, the public health nurse for the Town of Grafton, was relieved that the scores came in better than average but said parents should remember that the numbers reflect the group and not the individual.

“Body Mass Index is not an exact science,” she said.  “Some kids are in excellent shape but their BMI could be high because they carry a lot of muscle.”

The report also said students in the Town of Needham scored the lowest: only 14.8 percent of the students were overweight or obese.  Southbridge scored the highest at 51.8 percent. 

The study also showed that the lower the median household income in a town, the higher percentage of overweight and obese students, which the Food Research and Action Center confirmed in a separate study.  They said that lower income families with tighter family budgets cannot afford as much fresh produce.  Consequently, more processed foods, which are higher in fat and sugar, are more affordable. 

The entire report is available here 

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Comments (5)

The standards are ridiculous. Like the article says BMI is an imperfect science. It should not be applied to GROWING children, that may have some time before their height catches up to their weight!

I'm an OK soccer coach.
Last year, when my son played against the Southbridge soccer team as a J.V. player, I was alarmed.
First, I admired the coach of Southbridge for his fortitude and kind encouragement towards his players. I later learned the real coach quit on the kids and a teacher stepped in to finish the season. I want to thank that teacher!
Putting my soccer passion aside: I thought on that field, on that day, the children of Southbridge were not physically capable of defending our country, let alone play a soccer game.

I believe this Obesity report is an attack on our Liberties. I say that this attack is in its first wave and there will be government control imposed on us as time goes on. It is happening in New York with limits on soft drinks and more things on the way.

I also find troubling that they are using a National Study by the Food Research and Action Center. This organization is lead by a career lobbyist who is in the partisan tank with this administration. This is the arm of the Government that we give $88 billion dollars a year for food stamps. It is a conflict of interest that a study of this nature is used to allow them to gain more Federal Funding. It is a little thing that they add into the article that us peons won't notice. This is a way of getting people more dependent on Government. I am not talking about people who need help. I am talking about people who do not need the help but are given it anyway.

There are consequences on small and big business with the decisions they make. Jobs are lost when they decide which foods will be in school.

I believe that parents should do the job of raising and feeding our children. I believe we deserve to make these decisions. Ms. Parent, please do not worry about my kid's eating habits. You shouldn't have to lose sleep at night over this. I will take personal responsibility for their diet and health.

Agreed. Your comment may seem a little paranoid at first glance, but more riduculous things have happened in history.

Was this a mandatory survey? The schools and municipal governments have no business getting involved with kids' weights, controlling food choices, etc.

With privatized health care it doesn't matter if someone wants to eat junk because they can choose to pay any additional costs themselves. With a socialized healthcare system, every little decision has to be micromanaged by the government to ensure that my sweet tooth isn't bringing down the system.

It all leads to more regulation and bigger government. Even if participation is voluntary in government provided services, it eventually becomes commonplace and accepted. Then we can't do without it, and we're easilly controlled.

The government needs to realize that they don't know what's best for everybody and can't possibly manage every aspect of life. If they don't, they will inevitably collapse under their own weight. That would be a disservice to everyone in our country, to say the least.

This is good! Let's celebrate with a pizza party!