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Mars Area School District

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District Departments » Health Services » Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI or “Body Mass Index” is a screening tool used to determine whether a child is overweight or underweight. The measurements are required for all children enrolled in Pennsylvania schools by state law.  All students in Mars Area School District will have their height and weight measured. The measurements will be used to calculate their individual BMI. 

Like all screening tools, BMI can produce some false positives or negatives. For example, a student may have an artificially high BMI as a result of a high level of lean body tissue or muscle, as may be found in a well-conditioned athlete. Therefore, it is important to follow up with a family doctor if a child’s BMI is high or low.

Each student’s BMI is strictly confidential and will not be discussed with anyone other than the student and his/her parent or guardian. It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to share a child’s BMI with that child’s health care provider. A child’s doctor is in the best position to evaluate that child’s overall health.