BBC Breakfast video: Children from aged 3 weighed yearly to help curb childhood obesity

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted Marsden medical scales on various news platforms yesterday as part of the push against childhood obesity.

Marsden are working closely with the NHS CHAMP (Children’s Health and Monitoring Programme) initiative to help reduce obesity in schools - and NHS CHAMP featured on BBC Breakfast to explain how they are fighting the obesity crisis.

2500 children are severely obese; in reception 25% of children are overweight and this increases to 40% by Year 6. Since 2006, children in Reception and Year 6 have been weighed as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). But in certain parts of the country weighing is now taking place annually - and this could soon be rolled out nationwide.

You can watch the BBC's videos below, then let us know what you think in the comments.


What is the NHS CHAMP scheme?

Nursery aged children are being weighed in Manchester as part of the battle against childhood obesity. From the age of three they will be weighed yearly, and parents subsequently informed as to whether they are underweight and overweight - providing advice on the action which can be taken.

Lorraine Leonard from NHS CHAMP told BBC News, “As a society we are getting bigger on the whole, so we don’t see it (weight gain) and we don’t see it in our children.

“We need to know how children are growing, and it’s really important that we feed back to parents and let them know, so they can take steps to safeguard their children’s health.”

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Sarah Vince-Cain added: "Parents find it really difficult to see how their children are growing. Making changes from an earlier age is much easier than making changes later when perhaps a problem is already there."


Reaction to the scheme

Response to the scheme has been largely positive. Mother, Danielle La Carpartier said: “We’re not going to lose track, are we? We are going to always know our children are growing properly; whether they are underweight or overweight.”

Nicky Veitch added on Facebook: “This used to happen each year when I was at school. It worked and people listened. Obesity wasn’t such a problem but advice was given if it was. It should never have been gotten rid of.”

Shirley Woodall countered, “I can see the issues this can cause, like bullying and eating disorders occasionally, however perhaps encouraging everyone to monitor their weight regularly at home might be better? You can then see whether you’re gaining, losing or steady with weight, and then choose to do something about it. Just a thought.”


Ofsted considering nationwide implementation

According to The Times and reported here in the Evening Standard, schools could be made to weigh pupils annually for Ofsted obesity checks.

Schools could then be rated on how well they are able to help maintain a healthy weight. Pupils identified as obese would be given additional support, including home visits.

A similar project in Amsterdam has helped to reduce childhood obesity by 12% over three years.

Public health minister Steve Brine said: “What I saw in Amsterdam was impressive – particularly the way in which they managed to achieve results among groups that have traditionally been hard to reach.”


Scales for weighing children

Marsden M-425: This is the scale used by NHS CHAMP and can be seen in the BBC clip below. The separate indicator means they can keep weight readings private. It has a 220kg capacity and accuracy to 50g (when weighing below 150kg).

Marsden M-420: This portable floor scale is lightweight and runs on 6x AA batteries. Graduations of the scale are 50g<150kg>100g and it has a 220kg capacity.

Marsden M-545: Like the M-425, the M-545 also comes with a separate indicator. It has BMI, Hold and Tare functions, as well as a BSA (Body Surface Area) calculation function.

To find out more about the NHS CHAMP initiative click here or read this blog post.

For more information about any scales for weighing children, call 01709 364296 or contact us here.

BBC Breakfast

Children as young as 3 are being weighed in Manchester and will be weighed yearly. It's a new scheme aimed to reduce obesity, as currently pupils in England are only weighed at 4 and 10 years old.

BBC Breakfast

Pupils in England are currently weighed twice - at the ages of four and ten. But in Manchester, a new scheme is measuring children every year from the age of three, to help them stay on track.

Leave a Reply