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Back off.

May 14, 2010

Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) has introduced a bill to Congress called the “Healthy Choices Act.”  Choices?  Really?  This act is simply more intrusion by the government into private lives and private choices.

If passed, the law would require states receiving certain federal funding to collect the BMIs of all children.  Setting aside the issues with using BMI as a measure of health, the government should not be in the business of collecting health data on my children.  The government should not intrude on the provision of medical care by physicians.  Don’t they have more important and more appropriate issues to focus on?  Might I suggest doing something about illegal immigration?  Or maybe stopping terrorist recruitment in the United States?  Hey!  Combine the two and stop terrorists from getting into the US in the first place.

My message to governments:  Keep your hands off of my children.

I will simply not allow physicians to weigh or measure my children unless it is directly relevant to the reason for the physician visit.  No weight plus no height equals no BMI.  Submit that to the government.

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Just noticed this paragraph in the CNSNews.com article:

This analysis, the bill states, would attempt to identify obesity trends in regions of the United States and how those trends vary according to gender and socioeconomic status–although the bill does not spell out how socioeconomic status of patients would be determined.

Big Brother is watching.  Either physicians will also collect socioeconomic status information to remit to the government with the BMI information (and personal identifiers (!) so that they can follow trends) or the government plans to use socioeconomic levels for the area of the physician’s office.  The first is just wrong — a violation of privacy and not within the realm of what a physician should be documenting about patients.  The second makes any conclusions from the data invalid because of ecological fallacy.

OMG.  Will they submit the BMIs with social security numbers which could then be matched to tax documents?

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