‘Overweight child’ letters given a more positive spin

 

Letters to parents warning that their children are overweight will be toned down, after complaints that the wording was too upsetting.

NHS guidance, supporting a national weigh-in programme for schoolchildren, says the letters to parents should be “non-judgmental and positively phrased”.

New template letters have been issued to local authorities ahead of the programme’s start in September, watering down the language previously used to describe the effects of being overweight.

The letters, which detail the child’s height and weight, have been “revised” from last year following feedback from experts and parents.

While wording can be changed to meet local needs, the guidance says it “is important to consider that parents receiving the letter may be sensitive to the information and feel that their parenting skills are being criticised”.

“As such, as far as possible the letters should be non-judgmental and positively phrased.”

The letters are signed by school nurses and include website addresses and a phone number so parents can access free advice and support.

The National Child Measurement Programme, overseen by Public Health England, is “fundamental to efforts to tackle childhood obesity in England”, according to the guidance.

It details how children should be weighed and measured in schools, with the anonymised results fed into a national database.

The letters telling parents their child is overweight or very overweight have undergone a series of changes.

In the “very overweight” letter, parents are no longer told: “Your child’s result is in the very overweight range. Doctors call this clinically obese.”

While parents are told their children could face health problems in later life, the letter no longer says youngsters are at risk of “heart disease and some types of cancer”.

Dr Ann Hoskins, Public Health England’s director of children, young people and families, said: “We’ve listened carefully to feedback from parents and local authorities, and as a result the template letter has been simplified to make it easier to read and more personal.”

PA

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Advertisement Sales Manager

    £21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A publishing company based in F...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Affiliates & Partnerships

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This multi-award winning foreig...

    Recruitment Genius: Graduate Structural Engineer

    £17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Structural Engineer ...

    Recruitment Genius: New Business Development Manager - OTE £36,000

    £22000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A New Business Manager role sui...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor