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Michelle Obama Encourages BMI Screening for Kids

In a candid op-ed on Yahoo! Shine, First Lady Michelle Obama reveals that, years ago, her pediatrician raised concern over daughters Sasha and Malia’s BMIs (Body Mass Index) during an annual well-child visit. “Now to be honest, I didn’t really know what BMI was,” Obama admits. “And I certainly didn’t know that even a small increase in BMI can have serious consequences for a child’s health.”
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Though she “had the best intentions to feed my kids healthy food on a budget,” the First Lady acknowledges that “sometimes pizza or the drive-thru were inevitable.” Her pediatrician explained that BMI is a reliable way to assess whether a child is at a healthy weight, based on age, weight, and height, and that her daughters’ BMIs were sneaking upward.
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This reflective post comes one year after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, which requires new insurance plans to cover preventative services like BMI and cervical screenings, mammograms, and more “without any kind of deductible, co-pay or co-insurance,” making them more accessible to more Americans.
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The First Lady, who launched the Let’s Move campaign to combat childhood obesity, encourages parents to talk with their pediatricians and request BMI screenings to help “raise a generation of happy, healthy kids.”

Plus: Calculate Your Child's BMI

Have you ever asked for a BMI screening at your child’s check-up?
Get healthy eating tips, exercise ideas, and more ways to shape up with Parenting’s Fit Generation 2011!