Michael Motley, MPH
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
The Arkansas State and Public School Employees Health Plan
To improve the health of Arkansas children and combat the growing epidemic of child and adolescent obesity, in 2003 the Arkansas General Assembly and Gov. Mike Huckabee passed Act 1220. This multi-pronged initiative was the first of its kind in the nation. One component of Act 1220 mandates measuring the body mass index (BMI) of each public school student annually. Act 201 of 2007 modified the requirements so that only students in grades K, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are required to be assessed every school year. Schools have the option, however, of measuring all students. Height, weight, age, and gender are used to calculate BMI percentile for age. A BMI is a screening test only; it indicates if a person is underweight, a healthy weight, overweight, or obese.
Act 1220 and Act 201 also require that BMI results be reported each year to parents or guardians, along with an explanation of what the BMI means and of the health risks associated with obesity and the effects of nutrition and physical activity.
The purpose of this manual is to instruct school personnel in the use of the BMI data entry system and how to generate Child Health Reports that give parents information on individual student’s BMI classification and suggestions related to eating and physical activity, and instructions for generating school and school district BMI reports.
At the completion of this training the participant will be able to:
- Determine they have the appropriate equipment to enter data into the electronic system
- Log into the data entry system
- Select the applicable school and record its measurement station information
- Locate a student’s name and enter or change data items
- Resolve height accuracy error messages
- Print the forms necessary for data collection and post-collection data entry
- Generate Child Health Reports for distribution to parents/guardians
- Prepare school and school district BMI reports