If it's a sign of the times, it's a sign of how truly backwards we are as a society when it comes to weight management.
Scale company Tanita is now marketing a specially designed body-fat/weigh scale for children between the ages of five and 17.
Now I've blogged before about how I think body fat percentage scales are a bad idea to begin with, but to target them at children bring them to a whole new level of horror.
Five-year-olds don't need to have their body fat, or their weights measured; they need healthy food and good parental role modeling.
So instead of punishing your child by buying them a body fat percentage scale, may I suggest that if you're not already doing so you:
Lastly you've got to remember that if you're worried about your kid's weights, don't put it on them. It's not their problem, it's yours, and if you think you're going to fix it by yelling at them, weighing them, shaming them, food policing them, etc., you're going to be disappointed, and your kid is going to be miserable.
If you want your kids to change the way they're living, you're going to have to change the way your whole family is living - and frankly it isn't about weight. All of those behaviours up above? It doesn't matter if your kids are heavy or thin, those strategies will benefit each and every family, though the likelihood is that if weight is an issue in your family, those changes will help far more than any scale ever could.
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, MD is known as a "nutritional watchdog" for his advocacy efforts for improved public policies regarding nutrition and obesity. He is the founder and Medical Director of the Bariatric Medical Institute, dedicated to the (nonsurgical) treatment of overweight and obesity since 2004, and his personal website, Weighty Matters, is ranked among the world's top health blogs.
Follow Yoni Freedhoff M.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/yonifreedhoff