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Malaysia report cards to grade students on weight

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April 18, 2011 02:06 AM EST | AP


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Schools across Malaysia are giving students another reason to dread their report cards by grading them on their weight.

The move is part of a government push to curb obesity that includes banning school cafeterias from selling junk food and sugar-laden soft drinks.

Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai says report cards will soon add students' body mass index to the traditional academic grades so parents can decide if their children should watch their diet. Body mass index is a measurement based on weight and height.

Liow announced the policy, effective immediately, in a speech published in Malaysian newspapers Monday.

The Health Ministry estimates that about a quarter of Malaysian children are now overweight and more than 10 percent are obese.