Surveillance, Screening, and Reporting Children's BMI in a School-Based Setting

A Legal Perspective

The rising epidemic of childhood and adolescent obesity is placing an unprecedented physical and fiscal burden on individuals and communities. Federal and state government officials who seek to determine the scope of the problem are using a spectrum of tools that include reporting, screening and surveillance initiatives. The extent of authority to use these public health tools is yet to be determined, especially in the area of data use, privacy and liability as government officials balance the need to improve public health with individual freedom and autonomy.