"Fat Camp" Introduced For Britain's Overweight Children


A Government plan to tackle obesity is planning on sending hundreds of thousands of Britain's overweight children to a "fat camp". Some of these children as young as four years old!

School students who are labeled as overweight will be offered a place in this state funded camp. Parents can refuse at any time, however the ministers are hoping most will attend. Children who are obese could be sent to specialists for treatment, drugs or surgery.

Parent groups said the Government had moved ''beyond a nanny state, to a dictatorship''.

Experts said the public branding of children as fat could damage their confidence, expose them to bullying and trigger eating disorders. But pediatricians welcomed the move.

Under existing regulations, children are weighed when they start primary school and again as they leave. Parents receive a letter saying whether their children are healthy, overweight, underweight or very overweight. The latest figures show that by the time they leave primary school, one in three children is overweight.

Margaret Morrissey, the founder of the family lobby group Parents Outloud, said it was ''unforgivable'' to promote schemes that would encourage humiliation to be heaped on those children sent to fat camps. ''This has gone beyond a nanny state, beyond Big Brother,'' she said.

''To label young children as overweight because they are carrying a few extra pounds makes them so vulnerable to bullying and increases the risk of developing eating disorders, especially among the girls.

''Obviously it is unfortunate if parents feed their children badly, but this Government appears to have forgotten that we do not live in a dictatorship.''

However, the pediatricians don't agree and said that because of the scale of this crisis, drastic action was necessary.

Dr David Vickers, from the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, said: ''It seems to me that it is more outrageous to tell parents that their child is overweight then do nothing about it, than to … offer some support.''



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