My slim lad, 5, was fat-shamed as ‘obese’ by NHS in ‘cold letter’ – he’s so healthy, I’m fuming | The Sun

A FUMING mum told how her son, five, was fat-shamed by the NHS after receiving a letter telling her he was OBESE.

Horrified Cheryl Beattie, from Glasgow, received the letter about young son Blair, five, from the NHS at the end of the last academic year. 

The then-reception pupil was deemed as being very overweight according to his body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in metres).

But in pictures his angry mum posted on Facebook it’s clear the sporty youngster is slender. 

She wrote in a post: “The NHS drastically needs to evolve, they really do!

“I’ve just received a letter to tell me that Blair has had his height and weight measured in school and according to his BMI he is obese (yes the child in this photo is apparently obese!)

Read more in parenting

I spent £2k on my 13 ‘fake’ babies, my dad says it’s bizarre… who cares

Man is totally unrecognisable after his glow up from nerdy teen to muscly hunk

“I’m absolutely fuming.”

The engineer, married to Blair’s dad, was especially angry with the “cold letter” as she has actually struggled her entire life with her weight and that’s something she doesn’t want to pass onto Blair.

Cheryl spoke to Fabulous about the letter, saying she was desperate her boy – who will be six in December – didn't feel negatively about his weight. 

Opening up, she said: “I have struggled with feeling overweight and being self conscious and ashamed of my body for not being ‘thin’ since I was a teenager. 

Most read in Fabulous


Millie Radford hints she’s hours from giving birth as she posts ‘last bump pic’


Paris Fury welcomes baby number seven with husband Tyson


‘Irritated’ Meghan ‘sulks at Harry’ as he ‘ignores’ her at the Invictus Games

Have a break

We made up a name for our baby – people think she’s named after a biscuit

“I’ve made a conscious effort not to talk about food in terms of weight. 

“If I was to tell him he’s not to have chocolate or more sweets etc I would say it was to protect his teeth.”


And she said it was absurd he was deemed “very overweight”. “He has always been big since he was born. He was 9lbs 4oz at birth, I am 5ft 10 and so is my husband. 

“My dad is 6ft 3ins and all my brothers are over 6ft. 

“He was always going to be a big boy but kids have growth spurts and while I can understand why the NHS wants to make sure we don’t have overweight kids and teach people about nutrition I don’t think a cold letter through the door is the way to do it. 

“As you can see Blair isn’t what some would call fat.”

Little Blair, according to the stats NHS letter, was in the 99 percentile.” meaning he was bigger than 99 percent of other children weighed in his school – which his mum didn’t want to name. 

But his mum was adamant this was bonkers as he was very active and knew about healthy foods. “He eats fruit and veg,” she said. “He goes to a football club on a Tuesday, multi sports at the school on a Wednesday and boxing on a Thursday.

“He’s always running about.”

Cheryl described the means of measurement in the letter The National Childhood Measurement Programme  as “outdated” – and she’s not the only one to criticise it. 

Earlier this year a Fabulous Freedom of Information request revealed by March at least 5,000 mums, dads and carers had since September received letters telling them their child was “overweight” or “very overweight” – the clinical term for obese.

The weigh-ins are organised by The National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP), which is overseen nationally by the government.

On the government's Office for Home Improvement and Disparities page they said the aim was to stop kids suffering problems later in life.  

The NHS drastically needs to evolve, they really do.

“Children identified as very overweight are more likely to be ill, be absent from school due to illness, experience health-related limitations and require more medical care than children identified as a healthy weight,” the page said. 

“Very overweight children are also more likely to suffer from dental caries, type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties and bone and joint problems and experience mental health problems such as depression, poor mental well-being, bullying and weight stigma. 

“Additionally, children living with obesity are five times more likely to become adults living with obesity.”

But Hope Virgo, founder of anti-dieting group Dump the Scales, said at the time: “This scheme has the potential to do more harm than good.

“I have seen first hand the damage that has been caused by it when I go into schools. Kids telling me that they got weighed and their weight was XXX and now feel they need to change something about them. 

“We need to scrap the NCMP. Weight does not determine the health of an individual, we need to live away from a one size fits all model around weight.”

Referring to Blair’s letter, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “

“The National Childhood Measurement Programme helps to inform action taken at both a local and national level to improve the health of all children and promote a healthier weight.


Holly Willoughby pays emotional tribute to This Morning doc after her sudden death

I spent £2k on my 13 ‘fake’ babies, my dad says it’s bizarre… who cares

“Our approach to the programme is reviewed every year, in consultation with a wide range of experts, as well as children and families, school-nurses and headteachers.

“Providing parents with their child’s results is not compulsory and local authorities can choose if and how to notify parents.”

What is BMI and why are people critical of it?

Body Measure Index (BMI) is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by the square of their height (in metres).

According to the NHS, for children and young people aged two to 18, the BMI calculator takes into account age and gender as well as height and weight.

The BMI calculator works out if a child or young person is:

  • underweight – on the 2nd centile or below
  • healthy weight – between the 2nd and 91st centiles
  • overweight – 91st centile or above
  • very overweight – 98th centile or above

'Centile' just means the percentage groups people can be divided by. E.g. 'You are among the 98th biggest person among a group of 100'.

But there are a lot of critics of using BMI as a form of measurement, both among children and adults. 

For example people say it doesn't reflect things like height – taller children will of course weigh more. 

And muscle mass weighs a lot – so muscular children and adults will weigh more than their peers. 

Generally (especially) as adults) men weigh more than women. 

And it doesn't consider things like bone density

Source: Read Full Article