Body Mass Index (BMI) Measurement in Schools - Safeguard 3

Safeguard 3. Ensure that the setting for data collection is private.

Height and weight measurements must not be conducted within sight or hearing distance of other students. The trained staff member conducting the measurement can be the only person to see the results and can not announce them out loud.1 To maintain anonymity when collecting data for surveillance purposes, school staff can remove identifying information, including the student’s name, from the data collection form as soon as record keeping is complete and prior to calculating BMI and aggregating and analyzing the data.2

Source: Nihiser AJ, Lee SM, Wechsler H, McKenna M, Odom E, Reinold C, Thompson D, Grummer-Strawn L. Body Mass Index Measurement in Schools. Journal of School Health. 2007; 77:651-671.external icon


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  1. Haller EC, Petersmarck K, Warber JP, editors. The role of Michigan schools in promoting healthy weight. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Education; 2001. Available at: iconexternal icon.
  2. Rao JN, Routh K, Denley J. Measuring the prevalence of childhood obesity: a minimalist approach may be the best option. Child Care Health Dev. 2006;32(2):245-252.