Challenges and Best Practices in BMI screening in Head Start: One Program’s Perceptions


  • M. Elizabeth Miller Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
  • Dr. Stephanie Nicely
  • Dr. Paul Branscum


Childhood obesity, BMI, measurement, head start, best practices


Body mass index (BMI) for age is an important screening tool utilized to track growth patterns in children and identify potential health risks. Head Start conducts BMI screenings to combat early childhood obesity. To adequately conduct surveillance over time and evaluate obesity prevention interventions implemented in HS programs, an examination of the raw measurement data and discussion with HS programs related to needs around the data collection process is important. The purpose of this study was to describe findings from the examination of raw height and weight data at two time points and explore the perceptions of health staff around the data collection process prior to the implementation of an obesity prevention/health promotion initiative. Best practices for BMI screening are discussed.

Author Biography

M. Elizabeth Miller, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio


Associate Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition and Health at Miami University