Parents' Perceptions of and Responses to School-Based Body Mass Index Screening Programs-A Systematic Review
Journal of School Health
BACKGROUND: Evidence for the effectiveness of state-mandated body mass index (BMI) screening programs in the United States has been inconclusive, and potential unintended consequences of the programs have been debated. The present review aims to understand parents' perceptions of and responses to school-based BMI screening, and to highlight racial/ethnic differences.
METHODS: We systematically identified studies published January 2003-May 2019 examining parent and/or youth perceptions of and/or responses to US school-based BMI screening.
RESULTS: A total of 16 studies were included in the review. Studies suggested that while parents largely found BMI screening helpful, they held concerns regarding stigma, lack of privacy, and unhealthy behaviors and attitudes resulting from school-based screening. Furthermore, parents did not frequently follow-up with health care providers, although they reported some healthy behavior changes.
CONCLUSIONS: Our review highlights existing parent perceptions of school-based BMI screening including the potential for healthy behavior change and important concerns regarding weight-stigma and disturbed eating attitudes/behaviors. Additionally, racial/ethnic differences in screening preferences and experiences were found. Limitations of existing literature included a need to understand youths' experiences and a lack of standardized, reliable outcomes research. Implications for future research and the role of parents, schools, and providers are discussed.
Tatum, K. L.,
Valenzuela, J. M.,
Amirniroumand, R. A.,
Brochu, P. M.
(2021). Parents' Perceptions of and Responses to School-Based Body Mass Index Screening Programs-A Systematic Review. Journal of School Health, 91(4), 331-344.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/1900