NORFOLK -- Many students are lining up for a new study to see how many area children are overweight.

For the first time, the Health Department is coming to school to track student weight.

'We are seeing the first generation of students that could have a shorter lifespan than their parents,' Health Department official Demetria Lindsay explained.

While all local schools measure body mass index (BMI) the results aren't recorded into one statewide database. This new system sends the calculations directly to a computer.

Parents who don't want their children to participate can opt out and results are not shown to children. ' We don't want to single children out, ' Lindsay said.

The main goal is to make the first ever data base of student weight for eastern Virginia. Schools can uses the data to win grant money for programs to fight childhood obesity.

Norfolk is one of four districts to participate in the data collection headed by Eastern Virginia Medical School. The goal is to eventually measure students at all local schools.

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