Saturday, April 30, 2011

Help us stop dangerous practice of "weight grades" on report cards - and enter to win a copy of PURGE

I've struggled with distorted body image for most of my life, and was actively bulimic as an adult in my thirties. My novel, PURGE, while a work of fiction, is based on my very real struggle to overcome the voice in my head that told me that I was fat, ugly and worthless.

The response to PURGE from both teens and adults has told me that I'm not alone in this struggle. So many of us struggle with negative body images and issues with food, even if it isn't at the stage of being a full blown eating disorder. Young teens are especially susceptible; eating disorders and body image issues (including self-harm) are on the rise.

Dr. David Rosen of the University of Michigan says epidemiologic studies show the numbers of children and adolescents with eating disorders increased steadily from the 1950s onward. A recent analysis by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says hospitalizations for eating disorders increased most sharply -- 119 percent -- for children age 12 and younger from 1999 to 2006.

Now there’s something that will make this worse – many states are now sending “weight grades” and BMI scores home on students’ report cards. Can you imagine the affect that will have?

Cheryl Rainfield, author of Scars and I were having a discussion about this on Twitter and we were both so upset about it that we had to take action. We decided to start a petition. We hope you'll join us in fighting this very dangerous practice.

To help encourage you, I'm giving away two copies of PURGE. To enter, sign the petition and tell me you have in the comments. For extra credit entry, tweet about the petition and tell me you've done that, too. I'll give away the first book on May 31st and the second book on June 30th.


Now you can win 1 of 2 signed copies each of Scars by Cheryl Rainfield, Purge by me, Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum, and I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler just for signing the petition! Let us know on here or on Cheryl's blog , and we’ll be picking winners May 31 and June 30.

Thank you for caring!

Live Strong and Be Healthy...



  1. Wow! I can't believe they are implementing this - I am definitely signing this petition - why is the world so friggin weight conscious????

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE????????????? Thank you for doing this guys.


  2. Wow, that's crazy. I was annoyed when my daughter's 6th grade science teacher apparently TOLD the kids everyone's BMI. Meredith, who is fine and muscular, came home bemoaning that she was fat while this other girl, who is underweight to the point of being sickly looking was apparently thought the ideal. What was the man thinking?

  3. Uggh, I'm disgusted by this. I signed the petition and fully hope this doesn't go through.

    jpetroroy at gmail dot com

  4. I think this is one of those unfortunate cases of people trying to "solve" one problem (ie/ childhood obesity) without really thinking through all the implications and thus creating a new one in the process.

    The causes of obesity are complex, too. We should be working towards smaller portion sizes in restaurants. After living in Europe for 10 years, I was appalled when I moved back here and went to restaurants. There was just SO MUCH FOOD on a plate, it was enough for two people usually. Now I've gotten used to it again, unfortunately.

  5. Very sad. I hope that "weight grades" don't become a regular practice in the US. It seems like there are plenty of more effective ways for schools to help kids avoid obesity related illnesses - like providing healthier school lunches, culinary arts programs focused around cooking healthy meals/snacks, wellness classes, keeping soda machines out of schools, etc. It's also confusing as to what the schools are saying with these grades - are they taking responsibility for the students' weight/BMI? Are they saying you can measure our work by the weight/BMI of your child? Or are they sending the "blame" home? It doesn't seem like the schools' role is to make our children a "perfect" size - educate them about healthy choices and health implications of obesity, sure, but weight/BMI doesn't seem like the most appropriate measurement of a child's learning about these issues. Signed the petition. Thanks!

  6. Signed!!

    Glad they're not doing this here in Connecticut....

  7. I signed the petition :) I haven't heard of schools doing that in my area, but I hope this doesn't become a popular thing O.o