Children considered overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from obesity as an adult in addition to various other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis. A five-year-old girl from Newport, South Wales, was removed from her home and taken into custody after it was reported that she weighed over 143 lbs.
“This is the tip of the iceberg,” Tam Fry from the Child Growth Foundation told the Daily Mail. “There will be an enormous amount of children overweight, possibly dangerously overweight, where even the parents don’t recognize it.”
According to a Freedom of Information Act request, weighing around 65 kg (143 lbs.), the unidentified girl was removed from her house in August of last year. Two months after she was taken into custody, the girl’s weight rose to 150 lbs. but dropped down to 112 lbs. that September. One hundred and forty-three pounds is the heaviest a male or female 5-year-old child has weighed in an English school since 2008.
British lawmakers and child protection services are trying to figure out how the child’s weight went unnoticed by relatives and people close to the family. Officials on the Newport city council said the child’s obesity was the only reason she was taken into custody. A healthy 5-year-old girl usually weighs between 45 to 50 lbs.
“We are failing our children hugely by not monitoring their growth from a very early age. About 25 percent of our primary school entrants are seriously overweight,” Fry told the Daily Mail. “It just throws up a whole problem of people wishing not to mention weight in case it upsets the parents or upsets the child.”
Over 40 million children under the age of 5 were considered overweight back in 2011, the World Health Organization reports. Overweight children are at risk of psychological disorders, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, hypertension, and premature death. To calculate an individual’s body mass index (BMI), health care professionals divide the person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters.