Marks & Spencer to cater to obese children’s clothes

For years the problem of overweight and obesity in children has been considered an affliction of the lower classes, but this is really not the case, as evidenced by the new line of clothing for ages 3 to 16 recently introduced by Marks & Spencer.

In response to customer request, the top-selling retailer for British school wear just came out with their “plus size” range of clothing, cut 2 ½ inches larger than the regular lines to accommodate wider waists and hips.

The larger measurements translate to clothing sized for the ‘average’ eight-year-old boy appearing in the four-year-old section, and women’s size 18 in the girl’s sixteen-year-old range.  Spokespersons for Marks & Spencer said that last week’s launch of the Plus Fit line was a trial run, and the response from consumers will determine whether the company continues the line on a permanent basis.

M & S is not the first in their attempt to cater to this new trend; BHS had the idea in 2005, and other retailers such as Next and Asda have already introduced the larger sizes in children’s lines.

The move by Marks & Spencer underlines an ongoing controversy in the field of national health care.  Tam Fry, honorary chairman of the Child Growth Foundation and member of the National Obesity Forum, said that this is just the “commercial recognition” of a problem that has grown alarmingly worse in the past two decades.

About 27% of British children are overweight or obese by the time they enter primary school, and the fault lies not only with parents, but more specifically with the government, which he says has failed in its obligation to regulate the food industry.

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