Parents furious after their healthy 5-year-old son gets 'fat letter'

By admin
10 November 2015

A healthy five-year-old boy’s parents are incensed after receiving two letters warning them that their son is overweight.

Learners in England are monitored as part of the National Child Monitoring Programme, which has existed since 2005, and are weighed in their first and last year of primary school. If a child falls out of the “normal” weight margin the parents receive a letter.

The Royal Society for Public Health is demanding that the letters be adapted or stop being sent. “Only a fifth of parents find the ‘fat letters’ useful,” says Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the society. "We believe that the letter should be seen as the beginning of a dialogue with parents, not simply flagging whether their child is obese.”
'I felt like I was being accused of being a bad parent'

Max Hurry (5) is healthy, slim and active. He weighs 19,95 kg and is 1,07 m tall. Despite his healthy lifestyle his parents, Sarah and Paul Hurry, have received two of the so-called fat letters. "I felt like I was being accused of being a bad parent," Paul says. "I felt frustrated and a little angry."

According to Dr Monah Mansoori “you need to look at the patient in front of you and work out whether they’re truly obese”. She warns that the letters to parents must be approached carefully. "If there's something that mentions things like obesity and fatness there is a potential for psychological damage at that point or later on in life."


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