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Obesity: Pupils

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the medical testing of school children for obesity is conducted on a parental opt-out basis; and if he will make a statement. (157253)

The National Child Measurement programme (NCMP) gathers population level surveillance data and informs local planning and service delivery, and allows for the analysis of trends in growth patterns and obesity.

The NCMP is conducted on an opt-out basis. Our guidance states clearly that:

the privacy and dignity of the child is safeguarded at all times and the measurement is done sensitively in a private setting

height and weight information should be gathered with minimal physical contact by health professionals (as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998).

parents receive a letter explaining the purpose of the programme, and provide them with the opportunity to withdraw their child from it.