Blackpool mum; How is my son overweight?

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A Blackpool businesswoman was left furious after health chiefs branded her ‘fit and sporty’ four-year-old son as overweight.

Mica Pullen, 29, who runs Hermosa Boutique in Church Street, Blackpool, allowed her little boy, Harley, to be weighed as part of the NHS National Child Measurement Programme.

But she was shocked and upset when she received a letter saying Harley was classed as overweight for his age, sex and height.

He was estimated at 3ft 6in height and three stone and five ounces in weight.

Mica, who has another son Freddie, six, says she considers her son anything but overweight.

She says she was so surprised she posted the message on Facebook and was flooded with people offering their support and expressing their outrage.

She said: “I started to doubt myself and I needed some reassurance.

“I put his picture up on Facebook and had thousands of responses saying he is not overweight at all and expressing disbelief.

“It seems to me this is down to technology.

“Instead of a nurse looking at my son it seems as though his height and weight have just been programmed in to a system and it has come back that he is overweight due to technology rather than human assessment.

“He is a happy and healthy boy and is very fit and sporty.

“He boxes with his dad on a night and plays football.

“A healthy diet is part of our lives and I make sure he eats healthily.

“I started to doubt myself when I read the letter and I felt like I needed reassurance that I wasn’t doing something wrong.

“But I am angry that I have been made to feel that way.

“I was pleased to get the support of so many parents on the Facebook page but I shouldn’t have to be looking for reassurance and made to feel insecure.

“The effect on me and my family has been ridiculous.

“My son is a very happy boy and is in good health.”

The letter states Harley, who is a pupil at St Mary’s and St Andrew’s Catholic Primary School in Barton, may be at risk of ill health in the future if he does not lose weight.

A spokesman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “As part of the National Child Measurement Programme, children within primary schools are routinely weighed and measured at school as part of an assessment of their overall health.

“Data from measurements is used to inform the planning and delivery of services and helps health professionals to engage with families about healthy lifestyles.

“We are aware of an issue that has been recently raised by a parent and this is being looked into by the service currently.

“While the Trust is unable to comment any further on individual cases we do welcome feedback in order to improve the services we provide.

“If any member of a pupil’s family is concerned with their child’s results, the Trust can offer support and guidance where needed.”