In early childhood, kids might receive marks for satisfactory or unsatisfactory behavior. In secondary school, they begin to receive grades A through F. In college, you can pass or fail a class. All of these educational performance symbols culminate in a GPA. But what about a report card that also brings home a BMI?

Arkansas, Massachusetts and New York are among the states listed that are effectively beginning to measures students’ Body Mass Index. In light of new studies chronicling the nation’s rampant child obesity and first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign that targets the issue, schools are contemplating how to take a more active role in shaping children’s health. In most states, physical education is already a mandatory part of any public school curriculum. Seniors often have to pass a health class before they can graduate high school. And advocates continue to seek ways to modify school lunch menus to make them more enticing, healthy and cost-effective for youths. But is it wise for schools to also being weighing and measuring kids and informing them about these statistics? Will young adults benefit from having this information and learning what it means to take responsibility for their weight? Or will it simply provide fodder for the fragile self-esteem issues they already face in these formative years?

To best serve and inform our members, Pivotal Fitness Greenville likes to stay on top of national health and fitness news. And we’d love to hear what you think about these issues. Creating a dialogue and forming a health-invested community is one of the reasons we enjoy being a local, neighborhood gym in Greenville.

So tell us: What would you think about BMIs on report cards in South Carolina?

Most of us aspire to be healthy, but we all define this goal in different ways. For some, this means seeing the doctor every six months, while for others it means hitting the Greenville gym three times a week. For some it means not smoking, while for others it means an organic diet. So how can we know if we are being healthy or when we’ve achieved this elusive goal of “good health”?


The USDA does not currently restrict the word “healthy” when it’s applied to food labels, which is one confusing aspect of eating right. This can refer to calories, fat, sodium or well-rounded, vitamin-rich ingredients—just to name a few. New guidelines published in January have recommended basic rules for eating healthy. Specific emphasis was placed on lowering sodium—especially in frozen, canned and preserved foods—and always aiming for fewer than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day.

When it comes to exercise, setting goals is a very personal matter. How much or how often you should work out depends on your body type, activity levels, health and schedule. There aren’t specific guidelines regarding how muscular a person should be, but there are regulations regarding weight according to height and size. The Body Mass Index is a general, objective tool that can tell you if you’re proportionally healthy.


For all other health concerns, it’s important to regularly visit your doctors. Typically, individuals see their general health practitioner every 6-12 months. They may visit the dentist every quarter-year, half-year or—in rare cases—once per year. Specialized visits, from cancer screenings to chiropractic visits, vary by person—but it’s always important, especially as you get older, to stay on top of any dramatic changes in your health and speak with professionals about how long you should go between doctors’ appointments.

The most important thing when it comes to being “healthy” is to know that there is no one-size-fits-all definition. Typically, you want to increase your lifespan while improving your quality of life. But striving for impossible goals can be detrimental to your health and morale. Following the latest health news is the best way to know about nationwide developments. You should consult with experts—from doctors to your personal trainer or nutritionists—to be sure you are taking active measures stay healthy.

Please never hesitate to ask the professionals at your local Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym how we can help you target and meet all of your health goals. Check back next week for a more expansive look at the USDA’s recently published dietary guidelines for healthy Americans.