New Mexico To Collect Data On Children

New Mexico – The state Department of Health will begin collecting body mass index information on New Mexico kindergarten students and third graders this fall to determine the extent of obesity that could mean health problems later on.

Body mass index is calculated from a person's weight and height, and is considered a reliable indicator of body fatness.

The information will be collected from 50 elementary schools around the state.

The Health Department says the system won't identify individual students.

Right now, New Mexico has obesity data on children age 5 and younger who participate in the Women, Infants and Children Program, and on high school students who report it during annual surveys.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.