'Super-sized' uniforms go on sale
Published 25/07/2010 | 12:07
Marks & Spencer has started selling school uniforms for super-sized pupils in apparent recognition of Britain's worrying slide towards childhood obesity.
An online trial of its new Plus schoolwear range caters for four-year-olds with waistlines of up to 23ins - a size usually worn by eight-year-olds, according to the retailer's own guide.
Campaigners said the move by M&S was simply commercial recognition of what they had known for some time - that obesity is a growing problem among pre-schoolers and younger pupils.
The Plus range has been introduced as part of a trial prompted by demand from parents, M&S said.
It caters for ages three to 16. Trouser and skirt sizes go up to a 41-inch waist.
But it is the large sizes for primary school entrants that will cause most concern, amid fears Britain could be facing a growing obesity problem.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: "This is the actual commercial recognition of what we have known for some time - that obesity in pre-schoolers is building up.
"Now 27% of entrants to primary schools are overweight or obese."
Mr Fry said he had no issue with M&S offering the range, adding that the firm has been among the better retailers when it comes to giving clear information on their food range.
But he called for a collective effort to curb obesity.