NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -

A Massachusetts school that reportedly sent home "fat letters" to students they believed were obese is sparking controversy nationwide.

The Huffington Post reports the letters were sent home to students in North Andover, Mass., as an alert to the student's parents. Letters also are sent home to notify parents that a student is underweight or at a healthy weight.

Parents have reportedly reached out to state Rep. Jim Lyons, who is proposing legislation to prevent the Department of Public Health from collecting data on students' height, weight and body mass index.

According to the Huffington Post, a representative from the state's Department of Public Health defended the screenings in an email, arguing that "they are part of a broader strategy to combat obesity and that parents can opt their children out."