Mum's outrage after council classes her daughter, 5, as 'overweight' despite active living


A mum has been left “heartbroken” after receiving a council letter classing her “fit and healthy” daughter as overweight.

Lauren Badminton, a hairdresser from Shiremoor, has expressed her fury at North Tyneside Council after she was told by local health officials that her child, Olivia, was overweight for her height and age.

The 5-year-old was also encouraged to join an after-school club called “Healthy4Life”, which aims to “help children and parents/carers make positive changes to their lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight”.

Olivia’s parents were shocked at seeing their girl described as overweight, pointing out that anyone looking at her would disagree with the assessment.

They insisted that Olivia has always maintained a very active lifestyle, with weekly swimming lessons, ballet classes and often cycling to school.

Lauren told Chronicle Live: “North Tyneside Council shouldn't be giving five-year-old, fit, healthy, and active children a status of overweight when they are clearly not.

“Some parents might sit their child down and say they are overweight and they could end up with an eating disorder at five years old.”

A routine weight and height check at Olivia’s school prompted the council to issue an assessment based on National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) by using the child’s BMI centiles and categories.

Lauren put this system into question, suggesting the system is not fit for purpose, explaining: “You can't go off numbers and figures these days.”

“You have to come and have a look at the kid.”

In a letter sent by Wendy Burke, Director of Public Health at North Tyneside Council, Olivia’s mother was told that there was no intention on their part to “cause any upset or distress”.

Ms Burke told Chronicle Live: “We appreciate that for some parents receiving feedback relating to their child’s weight can be distressing, that is certainly not our intention.

“Individual results are not shared directly with children or the school and the measurements are carried out in line with national guidance in a sensitive and understanding way.”

“The programme is part of the Government’s approach to building a single picture about how children are growing in order to tackle childhood obesity.”

The hairdresser took to Instagram to share her disappointment, revealing that other parents in the same situation have gotten in touch to express their support.

She wrote: “I have contacted the council and told them that this has got to stop.

“I get that some children are visibly overweight but at five years old we can't start this now on kids.

“The damaging effect that this could have on a child at's horrific.”

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