Plus-sized clothing ranges for children as young as three are now on sale along Britain’s high streets, with H&M the latest to introduce its own custom line in response to the country’s worsening child obesity epidemic .
The Swedish chain’s Generous Fit line for children aged eight to 14 features jeans for 13-year-old boys that come close to rivaling the average man’s 37-inch wide waist.
The 35.5 inch kids waistband is seven inches wider than the standard boy’s fit for the 13 to 14 age group, while the girls’ plus size for the same age is 33.75 inches.
Boys’ shorts for the eight to nine age group have a waistband of 28 inches, compared to 24.25 inches in the standard range, and t-shirts to fit a 28.75 inch chest – two inches wider than the traditional size.
The launch of the new range means H&M now joins a number of other high street staples offering plus-sized clothing to children including Next, Tesco and Marks and Spencer.
Ranges by Tesco and Next cater to overweight children as young as three, with Tescos also offering plus-sized school uniforms.
It comes as figures released last week revealed the UK was on track for half its population to be obese by 2045.
Statistics show one in three primary school graduates are considered overweight and one in five considered obese.
The problem worsens in older children with an estimated one in four high school children aged 11 to 15 classed as obese.
British kids are now FATTER than US counterparts at age 11
The National Obesity Forum’s Tam Fry told the Daily Mail: "It is shameful that so many chains now have to cater for plus-size children who are so very young."
He said the clothing brands were not creating the problem, but simply responding to customer demand, with all plus sizes in H&M’s denim blue jeans sold out online on Monday.
An annual Health Survey, released last week, showed most parents of overweight children believed their child to be ‘about the right weight’ while nearly half of parents of obese children held the same opinion.
Obesity leads to a 10-year lower life expectancy and higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
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