The letter arrived innocently enough, tucked into her book bag between her reading book and water bottle. It was from our local NHS Trust, informing me that based on her BMI results, my gorgeous, four-year-old daughter was overweight. The problem was, I knew she wasn’t.
As part of the Government’s National Child Measurement Programme, which aims to tackle childhood obesity, children between ages four and five, and ten and 11 are weighed and measured at school. The results are then made available to parents in the hope that at-risk children can get more support from their local NHS provider.
“We know that our children are getting bigger,” says Claudine Thornhill, a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach. “We also know, based on studies, that childhood obesity increases the risk of adult obesity and developing health issues later on. The program of weighing primary-aged children helps in tracking and monitoring that trend at a local and national level, [but] whether it is helpful in tackling the root causes of childhood obesity and being overweight is questionable.”