Girl, 10, tops the scales at 24st as child obesity grows

BMI rates can be deceptive when determining obesity

From the Metro newspaper – 4 August 2013

A girl of ten has weighed in at more than 152kg (24st) in a controversial national survey.

The study of Year Six schoolchildren also recorded a boy of 11 standing just 1.32m (4ft 4in) tall and weighing 147kg (23st 1lb).

The youngsters were measured in the government’s National Child Measurement Programme, which records the height and weight of Reception and Year Six school pupils.

The information is used by experts to calculate a child’s Body Mass Index score and parents receive a letter to tell them how healthy their child’s weight is.

This has led some angry parents to complain if they are told that their child is ‘overweight’.

The ten-year-old girl, the heaviest recorded by the programme, weighed 155kg (24st 5lb), and stood 1.47m (4ft 10in) tall.

She was measured in Hounslow and had a BMI of 71 – well over the healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9.

Another striking case was in Manchester where a boy aged 11 weighed 146kg – giving him a BMI of 84.

In the most recent academic year, 2011/12, an 11-year-old girl in Bolton, weighed 144kg (22st 11lb). At just 1.45m (4ft 9in), her BMI was 69 – in the top one per cent in Britain for children of the same age group.

Details of the official NHS statistics between 2006 and 2012 were uncovered by investigations agency OpenWorld News.

They follow recent reports of a four-fold increase in the number of children and teenagers admitted to hospital for obesity-related diseases in the last decade.

In 2009, nearly 4,000 young people needed hospital treatment for problems complicated by being overweight, compared to 827 in 2000.

The latest figures from 2013 show that one in ten children is obese when they start school, while a third of primary school leavers are obese.

Prof Mitch Blair, of London’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: ‘Being severely overweight at such a young age has clear physical health implications including a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and joint problems.

‘Teenage years are tough enough without the extra burden of obesity.’