Eleven year old Olivia Lyndsay was told by her school, following their child measuring programme, that she was 'overweight' which caused her to refuse food for two days. At 5ft2in she is one of the tallest pupils in her year and this incident has caused her mum Amelya Lyndsay, a fitness instructor to hit out at the National Child Measurement Programme which hoped to monitor obesity in children.
Her mum said that she had to dig out her old uni books to convince her daughter that she was perfectly healthy and said "it's unbelievable how much damage can be done by this program, we never eat processed foods as I am always really careful of our diets, having a background in nutrition."
"Olivia is now 158cm tall and was one of the tallest children in her year. After receiving the letter she was so distraught, I had to pull out my notes from university to convince her that she had no problem as she refused to eat anything for two days.
They need to put something else in place, don't just bring a measuring tape and scales into school to stress children about it."
Olivia said: "I feel quite annoyed about it because it isn't that accurate and it's not that nice, I just felt really bad because I read the letter and was basically being called overweight by the NHS."
Whilst we understand that these measures were brought in with the right intention, we can't help but worry that by giving girls this label they are risking causing serious damage. If there is genuine cause for concern surrounding a child's weight it may make sense to call the parents into the office to have a chat. Sending this letter out without any research seems hasty and dangerous, particularly when they are dealing with girls at such a tender age!
Perhaps the NCMP could think about who they're talking about before throwing 'accusations' out willy-nilly!