M&S tests children's expanding waistlines

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The Independent Online

Marks & Spencer has commissioned a study into children's measurements amid fears that a growing number of youngsters are becoming obese.

Marks & Spencer has commissioned a study into children's measurements amid fears that a growing number of youngsters are becoming obese.

The troubled retailer, which has championed the lot of the larger lady in a recent advertising campaign, has now turned its attentions to youngsters. Preliminary research is believed to show that children are not only taller and but also succumbing to a rapidly expanding girth.

Body sizing experts at the Computer Clothing Research centre at Nottingham Trent University have found that children have a completely different shape from 20 years ago. A spokesman for the centre said: "Men and women have increased in size and it appears likely kids will have increased along similar lines."

Obesity levels among the young are believed to have trebled in the past two decades. Almost 17 per cent of girls and 11.1 per cent of boys are overweight by the age of 10 with forecasters predicting that figure will rise to between 60 and 70 per cent by the year 2030.

The store was unwilling to comment on how the research - expected to be completed by spring next year - was developing but acknowledged that it was likely to show that youngsters as well as their adult counterparts were bigger.

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