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Concerns that a UK clothing retailer has launched a plus-sized clothing range for children.

The range caters for kids three to 16 years and features jeans and tracksuit pants with larger than normal waists.

The UK Telegraph reports that a plus-sized children’s range is evidence that childhood obesity has moved beyond epidemic proportions because it is now considered normal.

Tam Fry, chief exec of the National Obesity Forum, said: “Next is simply catering for the market and the size of existing market is getting bigger, so they will be putting up their sizes. They may get stick for it but they are simply saying we have to clothe our customers.

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“They are responding to current state of affairs, It has been in a bad state for a long time but this just shows it has now gone beyond the point of a crisis. The UK is sitting on a time bomb of childhood obesity, children are several times fatter than they were in 2002.”

There was mixed response to a discussion on Studio 10 about the plus-sized clothing range for kids raising concerns that this is a sign that we’ve given up on fighting obesity and accepting that this is normal, most people agreed that the kids have to wear something.

Comments include:

– “I think this is fabulous! I was a fat kid who lived in ‘grandmaclothes’ cause in the 80s and 90s there was nothing appropriate for kids who were overweight. I feel it’s making them comfortable enough to give kids the self confidence they need to get out and enjoy life!”

– Another said, “It’s not accepting it but shouldn’t obese children be allowed to feel good in what they wear like the rest of us?”

– “We’re getting taller and we’re getting bigger – that’s evolution. Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes and we should 100% cater for size diversity!!! Not doing so is actually discrimination and feeds into the unhelpful weight stigma within our society – it would be so great if we could stop making assumptions about anyone based on their weight / body size.”

“It’s reality, and these kids deserve to feel good about themselves and wear clothes that suit their body shapes!!! Fantastic!!!”

– “Brilliant idea. ALL people have the right to be clothed nicely INCLUDING larger people. You really want larger people wearing clothes that dont fit????? There is clearly a markEt out there for larger trendy clothes.”

“So because a kid needs bigger clothing size than the ‘average’ child their age they are classed as ‘obese ‘???”

– “Still fighting obesity…..but these kids just want cool fashionable clothes like their friends. Especially in the teen years. If this makes the kids feel good about themselves then they are more likely to want to eat healthy and exercise.”

Do you think it is great that we are supplying a growing need? OR is it a sign that we are accepting a new normal?

Share your comments below.

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  • I actually think it’s very sad that there is even a market for this. If your toddler is overweight then what sort of life are you setting them up for? I’m not an advocate of everyone being skinny either – I’m certainly not but keeping your kids healthy should be a priority.

    Reply

  • Children are like adults and come in a range of sizes. However, plus size clothing for kids seems a little extreme. I would be interested to see how well it sells.

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  • I think it’s good that size is being noted and adequate clothing made for the new change. If a child feels good in his/her clothing then they are more likely to get outside and play than if they are in ill-fitting clothing that looks awful.

    Reply

  • Is there a problem with this? I think not. My 10 year old daughter wears my clothes (ladies size 10) and shoes (ladies size 9) because she is so tall and bigger than what is normal (by no means is she fat), unfortunately she has also reached puberty early so has a bust and hips, this is through no fault of her own, all she wants is to be able to wear the same clothes as her friends… I really don’t see what the issue is here

    Reply

  • I think it’s filling a need, but it is a rel concern that it normalises excess weight.

    Reply

  • I do think that it is great that we are supplying a growing need if the issue is there which it is.

    Reply

  • There certainly is a need to clothe larger children. For example we are getting bigger as a society, as in children and adults are taller than past generations. It’s good for them to be able to catered to for their age, rather than have to wear clothes that aren’t perhaps age appropriate. I think that we should promote a healthy lifestyle for all, but having said that there is a need for bigger children to have clothes that are suited to them.

    Reply

  • Kids don’t need to be ridiculed about their size at school. They get enough of bullying so why not make clothes that fit them and not make them stand out. Good on you Next for thinking of the children and their feelings.

    Reply

  • I think there is a need for it – these children need to be able to be dressed. Surely though if a parent has to go and buy plus size clothing for their child then that should be a trigger for them to start making changes to the child’s diet, exercise regime etc – or at least prompt them to see a doctor to start the process.

    Reply

  • I think there should be plus size clothing for children, but I also think parents need to address obesity by preparing healthier portion-controlled meals for their children.

    Reply

  • Some children wearing the next size or two up from what the age dictates eg a 6yr old wears size 6 has been happening for ages. Now a firm is catering to this ..well good on them.
    I find that sizes are not true …how many times do we have to take two or three sizes of the same clothing into a fitting room?
    Also my son is tall and thin and finds it extremely hard to get a business shirt to fit well, he has to get slim fitting shirts but finds that even these are not long enough in the body length or long enough in the arm length.
    My view is we need a good shake up on ALL CLOTHING.

    Reply

  • it is good for the manufacturers to supply this demand. There really needs to be more variety in clothes as not one size fits all

    Reply

  • Kids come in all shapes and sizes and being larger than what is perceived to be ‘average’ does not make a child obese. If they are overweight, not being able to buy clothes that fit lowers their self-esteem and self-confidence and can, in turn, aggravate the problem making them turn inwards, become forlorn and eat more! Only once they are comfortable in the skin they’re in, can they have a chance to break that vicious cycle.

    Reply

  • Nothing wrong with supplying where there is need !
    I actually notice that often the smaller sizes (6 & 8) are just not available, it would be good if there’s plenty of supply for all sizes – small and big !

    Reply

  • So what are children who are fat supposed to wear?! I think we need to find a way to promote healthyliving, but calling it a fight aainst obesity is harmful to fat people. It also is harmful to make fat people feel unwelcomed in societty. Research has shown that being awful to fat people doesn’t help them, in fact it does ore damage than good. So let’s change the way we talk about fat people and positively support them to have the cholothes they need along with giving them the support and medical help too.


    • Beautifully and thoughtfully commented on and your points are so accurate.

    Reply

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