Experts have hit back following concerns regarding the proposal from the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University for children to be weighed at school.
The proposal called for children to be weighed at school every two years to tackle childhood obesity.
Wagga nutritionist, Dianne Wintle had huge concerns for children and their well being if this were to be implemented at schools.
“Looking at the issues surrounding healthy eating for children, they are very similar to healthy eating for the entire Australian population,” Ms Wintle said.
“This is a very worrying notion of wanting to weigh students at school and would be detrimental to their mental and physical health.
“There’s already plenty of data out there; this would simply just damage the mental health of children and would do nothing to tackle obesity.”
A spokesperson from the Australian government Department of Health said the department does not undertake any monitoring of the height or weight of Australian children.
“The main data source utilised by the department in relation to obesity is the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey,” the spokesperson said.
The 2014-15 Australian Bureau of Statistics national health survey, indicated that rates of overweight and obesity in children aged five to 17 years were 27.4 per cent.
The ABS National Health Survey collects information on height and weight to determine respondents’ Body Mass Index score.
“State and territory governments deliver universal child and family health services,” the spokesperson said.
“Monitoring and accurately identifying children who are not growing normally is important, as is having population data about rates of inadequate growth.”
While Wagga does not currently have a Parents and Citizens Association representative, a P&C Federation spokesperson said the Deakin University proposal was not very detailed.
“Weight can be a sensitive matter for many, including young people and can be associated with mental health implications.”
Despite backlash from concerned nutritionists and the public health department; a father of two primary school aged children, six and eight years old, Scott Clapham said he wasn’t too concerned.
“We are extremely active and to be honesty I probably wouldn’t feel so bad if my children were weighed at school,” Mr Clapham said.
“I don’t think it should be down to the teachers or schools, parents should be taking responsibility themselves.
“If their child is obese, then that is parent neglect and they are the ones who are responsible.”