Furious parents have condemned the NHS and fear their kids could develop eating disorders after being told they are overweight – at the age of FOUR.
Letters have been sent home to several families of reception pupils from Tor Bridge Primary School telling them the youngsters need to shift the pounds.
They were assessed by school nurses as part of a Government monitoring scheme and were all judged to be above the recommended weight.
The recipients – whose children are between the ages of four and five – say they are outraged as they feel their kids are healthy and could be adversely affected by being ‘body-shamed’ at such a young age.
They included Martin Tall, 37, whose daughter Roxanne, four, was deemed to be overweight by the school in Plymouth, Devon.
He said: “It’s shocking. How can you be giving a child that age a complex about her weight?
“I take it personally and it’s a massive kick in the teeth. I would understand if she was four stone overweight, but she’s not.
“It’s not as if all we do is chuck sweets down her throat and she’s very active.
“We talk about things like depression and anorexia among youngsters and things like this are only going to fuel that.”
The tests were carried out at the school by the NHS in January as part of the National Child Measurement Survey.
The height and weight of youngsters was measured in order to find the child’s Body Mass Index (BMI).
Several parents have already hit out at the programme as it indicates whether a child is carrying “too much weight”, but does not distinguish between excess fat, bone and muscle.
Mr Tall added: “I’m really not happy about this. I spoke to my daughter’s teacher at the school and they are just as horrified at the news.
“It’s just a massive kick in the teeth.”
Kelly Franklin, whose son Jake, five, is in the same class at Roxanne, received the same letter informing her that her son was overweight
Jake suffers from learning disabilities and Sunday was four years to the day of his brain surgery.
Kelly said: “Jake is a big lad and he wears clothes for six to seven year olds.
“In addition to his special needs he has a number of issues which could affect his weight, but he’s not overweight or obese.
“In addition to having a Sensory Processing Disoder, he also has ADHD and Sagittal Craniosynostosis which affects 1 in 2000 people.
“On top of that, he has Global Development Delay, and doesn’t understand fully about healthy eating – and I feed him properly.
“I’m not strict as he needs to have a happy childhood as well. And I’m not silly enough to ensure he exercises a lot, especially after a treat.
“I did the same with my other son who is in year six and he’s stick thin, so to get a letter like this is a real slap in the face.”
The letter read: “These results suggest that your child is very overweight for their age, sex and height.
“Being very overweight can lead to health problems for your child, such as high blood pressure, early signs of type two diabetes and low self-confidence.
“But you and your child can make simple changes to be more active and eat more healthily.”