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Question
Posted by: Protective Parent | 2008/06/21

body assessment questionnaire

My 12 year old daughter has been told it is compulsory for her to do a body assessment at a specified gym at my cost. If she does not comply she will be given a zero toward her Life Skills mark which is a Pass / Fail subject. I feel this is an infringement on her privacy, can have emotional / psychological repercussions if not handles correctly (anorexia / bulimia spark) and partly also extortion. I however do not object in principle to the concept of a healthy mind and a healthy body and am prepared to offer a solution by helping my daughter undertake her own assessment questionnaire in the privacy of her home, under my supervision. Is it possible to obtain such a form as used by most major gyms? Could you possibly provide an email link or email me a copy? many thanks.

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Our expert says:
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Hi David

I agree with you, I'm not sure of the legal repercussions of that, I assume that the school means well but I've not heard of such a questionnaire before. The issue of the pass/fail is something you'll have to take up with the school, which I assume you're going to, and it will be interesting to see how it is handled from their side.

As for the questionnaire that you can do with her privately, I think that is a pretty good idea. The problem is what they'd do, and I'd have to admit I'd be guessing. With someone as young as 12, it's very difficult to know for sure whether they are overweight for their age and height, because there is not much in the way of "norms" for that age. So those kinds of measurements which are usually performed in the gyms would include body fat measurements, which are only valid once you reach about 16 years. As for a questionnaire, that's anyone's guess, I'm not sure really why you suspect it would be a questionnaire: have they indicated this to you?

If so, then the gym would be able to provide it, and you can go through it. From a scientific point of view, there is no standardized questionnaire that one can use - no gym can claim to possess a valid measurement for children. However, that's not to say that they don't have a questionnaire or assessment they're using (it doesn't have to be validated to be worth something), but you'd have to ask them for it, because I don't know of a standardized one to refer you to!

I've sent an email or two out to find out what the best "tool" is to use for you and her at home, and I'll get that to you as soon as I hear back. If I don't get to you in a few days, perhaps just drop a reminder on the forum - I do tend to leave these questions behind once they're submitted as answered!

Regarsd
Ross

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