This survey assessed school principals' perceptions regarding childhood obesity and the schools' role in dealing with the problem. A randomly selected group of 300 school principals was obtained from the National Association of Elementary School Principals; 227 (76%) administrators returned the questionnaire. Fifty-one percent of the principals believed normal weight was important to child health. Although 35% believed schools were not doing enough to alleviate childhood obesity, responses suggested principals oppose schools becoming obesity treatment centers. They do not believe teachers or parents would support such programs. They perceived the school's role to be educational and referral in nature. However, they supported elimination of "junk food" machines (71%) and provision of low calorie lunches (60%). They believed school nurses play the most important role in treating childhood obesity at school.