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In a bid to overcome the growing problem of obesity, experts come up with new ideas every day. One of the latest expert advices is to link obesity with the marks a child scores in his exams. But are such drastic measures a step in the right direction?

French Diet Expert suggests Linking Obesity with Marks Scored in Exams

The whole world is facing the problem of growing obesity. The problem has not even spared the children. In America alone, more than one third of the children and adolescents were found to be obese in 2008, as per the statistics available with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Obese children are more likely to suffer from high cholesterol or high blood pressure- two important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Similarly, they are more likely to suffer from pre-diabetes, joint problems, sleep apnea, etc. Apart from these medical problems, there are psychological aspects to be dealt as well. Obese children are often ridiculed by their peers and suffer from low self-esteem. 

France, which resisted the obesity epidemic for a long time, is also facing the problem now. According to a report by the World Health Organization, more than 50% of the French population is overweight. The problem has become more serious since 1960’s, and encompasses all the sections of the society, including children. The obese population in France has already touched the figure of 22 million and is expanding further. In a bid to curb this problem, French diet expert, Pierre Dukan, has suggested linking obesity with the marks scored in exams.

Expert Advises giving Extra Points to Slim Children in their Baccalaureate Exams

World famous diet expert Dukan has written a book addressed to the sixteen presidential candidates of France suggesting 119 ways to combat obesity. According to him, one of the ways in which obesity amongst children can be tackled is by giving extra points to slim children in their baccalaureate exams.

The baccalaureate is an important diploma in the French education system and is mandatory for entering universities for further studies. The children desperately want to pass the exam and their parents are also keen that their wards do so. Dukan suggests slim kids, with a body mass index between 18 and 25, to be given extra marks in these exams. Similarly, obese children entering their secondary education would also be eligible for extra marks, if they are able to lose enough weight by the end of the course. According to Dukan, these extra marks would serve as a good motivational factor for both the students and their parents, who would then work in tandem to shed those extra kilos.

Nobody has any doubt about the good intentions of Mr. Dukan. However, his suggestions have been met with an uproar. Child psychologists feel that the obese children are already under tremendous pressure. To associate their marks with obesity will further compound this pressure. The marks achieved in an examination should be solely based on the child’s academic performance.

To tie it with his physical appearance is certainly not fair. Moreover, many experts have pointed out that body mass index is not a correct parameter to measure obesity. Many athletes with an increased muscle mass also have a high BMI. Similarly, many endocrine disorders can also lead to obesity. To punish a child for no fault of his is not justified.

Other critics of the suggestion have pointed out that for many parents it is extremely difficult to feed nutritional food to their children. They strive hard just to keep their children fed. To expect them to shell out extra money to buy wholesome nutritional food or to enlist their child in some weight losing program is too much to ask.

Therefore, there is not much justification in tying marks to obesity. We will have to find other means to deal with the problem.