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  1. Johnson, Ann MSN, CSN
  2. Ziolkowski, George A. PhD


Child obesity is an epidemic with serious social, economic, and health consequences having the potential to continue into adulthood. The earlier a child is identified, the sooner a medical evaluation can be performed and interventions established to prevent the development of obesity-related conditions such as hypertension, dyslipidemias, or insulin resistance. A public school nursing staff with significant administrative support developed and implemented a program to screen K-12 students for body mass index using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to identify children who were underweight, within norms, at-risk-of-overweight, or overweight based on age and gender. Parents were notified by mail of the results. District-wide, numbers of underweight (<5%tile) and overweight (>95%tile) children have decreased. After 5 years, the screening program has developed into a comprehensive child wellness initiative involving school administration and staff, parents, students, and community partners