A mum is outraged after her 11-year-old daughter was reduced to tears when she was warned in a letter she was “overweight”.
Emma-Louise Eyre is an active little girl who enjoys going on brisk walks on Dartmoor with her Army worker dad, and her mum Sarah Eyre says the family eat a healthy diet.
But after Emma-Louise’s body stats were taken as part of a healthy living scheme between her school, Oakwood Academy, Plymouth, and NHS campaign Live Well, the family were stunned to get a letter suggesting the child needed to lose weight.
Emma-Louise, who is 146.4cm high and weighs 7.59 stone - was told in the letter she should be 6 stone 5lbs.
She was measured and weighed in May by the National Child Measurement Programme.
The letter read: “These results suggest that your child is overweight for their age, sex and height.
“If your child is overweight now they are more likely to grow up to be overweight as an adult.
“This can lead to health problems.”
It urged Mrs Eyre to take steps to help Emma-Louise lose weight to avoid problems with her health in future.
But Mrs Eyre rejected the suggestion that Emma-Louise was overweight, and said: “If my daughter got any slimmer, she would be anorexic.
“She’s not overweight.
“Not just in my mind, but other people say she doesn’t look overweight at all.
“She’s quite slim.
“She’s 12 this year, she is getting spots, going through change and development, her body is changing.
“The reason I want to raise awareness of this is because, you get kids and children that harm themselves, or commit suicide or get very anxious.
“My daughter wears her heart on her sleeve and she has taken it to heart.
“I can’t believe professional people would say this. It’s absolutely disgusting.”
She said 6 stone 5lbs was an unhealthy weight for someone of Emma-Louise’s age, and added: “That is very, very skinny.
“That’s my personal opinion, that’s disgusting.
“The letter came with a healthy living leaflet recommending how she could eat better and how she could take up sports.”
Emma-Louise’s younger brother, Bradley, aged nine, did not receive a similar letter.
Care worker Mrs Eyre said: “I’m pretty sure other children at school received the letters.
“When I got the letter I was upset and angry. How dare someone suggest my daughter is overweight?
“Now she thinks she’s fat.
“She said ‘I’m fat, it says in the letter.’ “It shouldn’t be the child that worries about the weight, it should be the parents.
“They are the ones that feed the children.”
She added: “Emma-Louise and her brother eat fruit, they generally eat quite healthily.
“If I have her McDonald’s every day she would put weight on.
“It has got beyond a joke.”