Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Sporty girl from Poole is overweight, says NHS

Lucy Davies
Five-year-old Lucy Davies' parents have been told she is overweight

The parents of a sporty five-year-old girl have received a letter from the NHS saying she is overweight.

Lucy Davies' height and weight were measured as part of a government programme at her school in Poole.

Her mother, Susan, 38, said the 3ft 9in-tall girl, who weighs 3st 9lb, regularly played outdoors and took part in ballet, cheerleading and walks.

Bournemouth and Poole Primary Care Trust, which did the tests, said parents should be aware of the risks.

Lucy's Body Mass Index (BMI) is 17.7, which for an adult would be considered slightly underweight.

But officials said that for a young girl, this meant she was 1% outside the healthy category and could be at risk of heart disease and cancer.

The tests were part of the National Child Measurement Programme, which is being carried out in schools across the country on children aged four to five and 10 to 11.

If they are overweight, this will cause many problems for them as they grow older and we need to tackle this head-on
Dr Adrian Dawson
Bournemouth and Poole PCT

Lucy's father Anthony, 41, said the letter they received outlined how she could also be vulnerable to high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

Mrs Davies told BBC News she was more "bemused" by the letter than angry.

She said she always took the health of her children seriously and gives them five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

'No diet'

Family meals are always home-cooked from scratch, she added.

But she said she was not going to be putting Lucy on a diet and would be carrying on with meals as normal.

Lucy's mother said she was ''stunned'' at the letter about her daughter's weight

Bournemouth and Poole Primary Care Trust said the results were aimed at parents and were not given to children directly.

Dr Adrian Dawson, director of public health, apologised for any concern the letter caused and added that the trust had received some positive feedback about its approach.

He added: "We will be looking at the language and the processes that we use, but our priority is about ensuring the ongoing good health of our children."

Dr Dawson said that parents were the only people who could affect a change in lifestyle through healthy eating, meal-time portion control and daily exercise.

"It is right that they are aware of the consequences for their children," he added.

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Derbyshire Times Five-year-old child labelled overweight - 17 hrs ago
Bournemouth Daily Echo Should five-year-olds be routinely weighed? - 22 hrs ago
Capital Radio Mum's Fury As Healthy Girl Branded 'Fat' - 34 hrs ago
Chelmsford Weekly News Sporty girl, 5, branded overweight - 43 hrs ago

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