Obesity a growing problem as figures show 10-year-olds weighing over 20 stones


Figures revealing children with levels of body fat far above what is considered a healthy range have outlined the scale of England's childhood obesity problem.

NHS figures reveal a 10-year-old girl weighing more than 24 stone and an 11-year-old boy weighing 23 stone.

The statistics reported in The Sunday Times show the child of each sex with the highest recorded body mass index [BMI] in England between 2006 and 2012.

Seven children were found by the newspaper to weigh more than 20 stone in the six years running up to 2012. They came from Lancashire, Cumbria, Manchester, Wandsworth and Hounslow in West London.

The 10-year-old, who was the heaviest recorded girl in 2006-07 and lived in Hounslow, was 4ft 10in tall and 24 stone 5lb, giving her a BMI of 71. The healthy range is between 18.5 and 25.

There has been a fourfold increase in the number of children and teenagers admitted to hospital with obesity-related conditions in the past decade, according to a study by a team at Imperial College London, published in June.

BMI is a measure of body fat which is arrived at when a person's weight in kilos is divided by their height in metres. To get the BMI figure they must then divide this figure by their height again.

Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, an organisation which seeks to raise awareness about the problem, told the paper: “We have come to accept that 26 per cent of adults in the UK are obese but we should be outraged that 20 per cent of children are too.”