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Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Teased at school 'for big tummy'

By Steve Blears
Newsbeat reporter in Rotherham

Woman holding her side
Just one in five children have five portions of fruit and veg a day

Men, women and children have become more obese in the past decade, the latest health statistics for England have revealed.

The study found that although more people are doing regular exercise, waistlines are growing.

A third of men had a 102cm (40in) waist. Even more women's waistlines were 88cm (34in) or bigger.

The NHS performed more than 2,700 operations on seriously overweight people last year.

That's a 40% increase in people having surgery including stomach stapling and gastric bypasses to manage their weight.

In 2007, 1.23 million prescriptions were dispensed for the treatment of obesity compared to 130,000 in 1999.

Children under 16 are eating more fruit and veg but just one in five boys and girls consumed the recommended five or more portions a day.

Twelve-year-old Heather Ford from Rotherham in South Yorkshire decided to take action to curb her weight after she was teased at school for having a big tummy.

Heather Ford with mum Sue
Heather Ford was taunted at school for being overweight
"They were making up rhymes and stuff about me," said Heather. "I was 8st 7lb (53.9kg), snacking on chocolate and hiding the wrappers from my mum."

Heather's mum Sue Ford took her to see a dietician who referred her to a month-long fit camp with other kids.

"We did a lot of activity and had lifestyle sessions to teach us how to eat properly" said Heather.

She has now shed more than a stone (6.3kg) and has joined a running club to stay in shape.

"It's actually helped the whole family. Even I go running too," said Sue.

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