SENATE, No. 2384

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 8, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† GERALD CARDINALE

District 39 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Requires boards of education to calculate body mass index for students in first, fourth, seventh, and tenth grades.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning body mass index screenings for certain students and supplementing chapter 40 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† a.† A board of education shall adopt policies and procedures to ensure that each student in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 receives a health screening which calculates the studentís body mass index and the corresponding percentile information. The body mass index and corresponding percentile information shall be transmitted directly and confidentially to the studentís parent or guardian and maintained by the school district as part of the studentís health record. In addition to the results of the screening, a board of education shall:

†††† (1)†† provide the parent or guardian with guidelines in plain language to interpret the results of the screening, and an explanation concerning the significance of calculating body mass index to determine a healthy weight for a student;

†††† (2)†† provide the parent or guardian with information concerning the importance of developing healthy eating habits and promoting physical activity in children and adolescents; and

†††† (3)†† encourage the parent or guardian to share the results of the screening with the studentís primary care physician, especially if the studentís body mass index is below the fifth percentile or above the eighty-fifth percentile.

†††† b.††† Any measurement of height and weight for the calculation of body mass index and the corresponding percentile information required pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall:

†††† (1)†† be conducted by the school physician, school nurse, physical education instructor, or other school employee trained and designated to calculate body mass index in accordance with guidelines developed by the Department of Education; and

†††† (2)†† be conducted in a manner which ensures the privacy of the student during the screening process and the confidentiality of the results of the screening.

†††† c.†††† A board of education shall notify a studentís parent or guardian at least 30 days prior to the date on which the body mass index screening is scheduled. Any student whose parent or guardian presents to the school principal within that 30-day period a signed statement that the student is not to participate in the body mass index screening shall be excused from the screening.††

†††† d.††† A board of education shall annually compile the results of the body mass index screenings and issue a report to the department. The report shall include the number and percentage of students for each screened grade level who are underweight, have a healthy weight, are overweight, or are categorized as obese. The report shall not contain the names of individual students.

 

†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill requires boards of education to adopt policies and procedures to ensure that each student in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 receives a health screening which calculates the studentís body mass index and the corresponding percentile information. The results of the screening would be transmitted directly and confidentially to the studentís parent or guardian and maintained by the school district as part of the studentís health record.

†††† Under the bill, boards of education must provide the parent or guardian with guidelines to interpret the results of the screening, an explanation concerning the significance of calculating body mass index to determine a healthy weight, and information concerning the importance of developing healthy eating habits and promoting physical activity in children and adolescents. The bill also requires boards of education to encourage the parent or guardian to share the results of the screening with the studentís primary care physician.

†††† The bill requires the screening to be conducted by the school physician, school nurse, physical education instructor, or other appropriately trained and designated school employee in accordance with guidelines developed by the Department of Education. The screening must be conducted in a manner which ensures the privacy of the student during the screening process and the confidentiality of the results of the screening.

†††† The bill provides that any student whose parent or guardian presents to the school principal a signed statement that the student is not to participate in the body mass index screening will be excused from the screening.

†††† Under the bill, boards of education are required to annually compile the results of the screenings and issue a report to the department which includes the number and percentage of students for each screened grade level who are underweight, have a healthy weight, are overweight, or are categorized as obese.

†††† Under current State Board of Education regulations at N.J.A.C.6A:16-2.2(k)1., students in grades K-12 must receive annual screenings for height, weight, and blood pressure. This bill will ensure that the calculation of body mass index occurs at various intervals of child development.