AN ANGRY mum has slammed the NHS after it branded her sporty son “overweight”.
Natalie Harvey, 42, was told her son Hector, four, could be at risk of type 2 diabetes after he was weighed by the NHS National Child Measurement Programme.
Natalie Harvey / Hook News A mum has slammed the NHS after her son was branded overweight
Natalie Harvey / Hook News The letter sent by the health service
He weighs three stone and is 3ft 5ins tall, which gives him an overweight BMI.
The mum-of-two said she felt like a “bad mum” when she was told Hector needed to lose weight, but now feels like the judgement is “ludicrous”.
Ms Harvey, from Long Eaton, Derbyshire, received a letter advising her on how the little boy, who swims twice a week and runs every weekend, could lose a few pounds.
Now she has slammed the “dangerous” system, which she claims could have a negative effect on young children across the country.
The mother-of-two, who works as a child counsellor, said: “I felt like a bad mum, I thought I had let him down, but then I thought this is ludicrous and I felt angry.
“He leads a very active lifestyle and eats very well, so to receive a letter like that you go through a mix of emotions.
“I just think it’s an out-of-date system. Should I be an anxious person reading a letter saying I’ve put my kid at risk of having heart disease?
“It could send me over the edge and momentarily it did.”
The National Child Measurement Programme measures the height and weight of children in reception classes to assess obesity levels in primary schools.
The programme uses a formula based on height and weight to determine body mass index (BMI) and then compares it to a reference sample of measurements gathered in 1990, taking age and sex into account.
I felt like a bad mum, I thought I had let him downNatalie Harvey
Parents or carers can choose to withdraw their child from the process by responding to the letter.
Ms Harvey said Hector was weighed in his reception class at St Lawrence C of E Primary School in November last year but she received the letter on February 4.
And the results showed that Hector is officially considered as overweight.
Ms Harvey said: “If we sat at home and ate takeaways and led that sort of lifestyle I would think fair enough, but we don’t.
“Out of school he goes swimming twice a week and runs every Sunday in the park.
“I sat and stewed (on the letter) because I’ve been thinking am I going to ignore it or am I actually going to do something? This is a prehistoric system and it needs changing.
“It’s very dangerous. To label somebody overweight when they aren’t is potentially the start of an eating disorder.
“They are they missing the point you can be unhealthy with a fine BMI.”
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A spokesman for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust said: “The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is a nationally-run initiative which Public Health England requires all local areas to administer to primary school children.
“Local school health teams carry out the assessments to the standards set nationally. It measures the height and weight of children in reception class (aged 4 to 5) and year 6 (aged 10 to 11) with a view to helping parents keep their children at healthy weights.
“Parents whose child’s measurements fall anywhere outside the nationally-prescribed body mass index (BMI) levels, even slightly, will receive a letter. The wording of the letters is the same across the country and agreed at national level.”
Natalie Harvey / Hook News Natalie Harvey, 42, was told her son Hector, four, could be at risk of type 2 diabetes
Natalie Harvey / Hook News Hector swims twice a week and runs every weekend
Natalie Harvey / Hook News She said the weighing system could have a negative effect on young children across the country
Natalie Harvey / Hook News Hector was weighed in his reception class
Fat loss expert Steve Miller suggests that overweight NHS health workers should wear ‘Fat badges’
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