Advanced search

Overweight children

(151 Posts)
netherlee Fri 08-Mar-13 19:50:31

My OH owns a small clothes shop that has lots of childrens stuff (schoolwear, brownie/cub, sports, fashion clothes etc.). He said recently he is rather irked at the number of parents who comment that they have to buy larger sizes (eg age 9-10 for a 7 year old). Sites like M&S are similarly strewn with such comments. The sizes are all in line with average sizes of children or slightly bigger, but of course he doesn't retort that the real problem is the child is overweight. He has also had at least one child needing a smaller size because they are very healthy (usually a very sporty child who is careful with what they eat). Its a lose lose.

So are we BU to think parents should just watch childrens health a little more rather than moan to shop staff just doing their job?

delilahlilah Fri 08-Mar-13 20:14:42

Children don't come in average sizes. You are being odd..... DS 1 is 14, and has always been lithe but he plays rugby and is muscular so child 'sized' trousers are no use he wears adult jeans / trousers. He is not large by anyone's standards. DS2 is 3 and wears age 4-5 because he is tall.

Same as a size 12 in one shop will not fit every woman who is usually a size 12.

The complaints need forwarding to manufacturers so they size clothe by actual measurements and put us all out of our misery. Well done for the assumption the child MUST be overweight not to fit the average sized clothes.

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 20:15:41

I have to be slightly more serious here, working in a school - maybe it's are area, maybe there are demographics at play (I dont think so because our in take ranges from moderately wealthy and educated to sterotypical estate families, plus many ethnic differences) I digress, a 1,000+ children through 11=19.

There are perhaps 5 I would (unprofessionally) label as obese. I know one is diabetic, and one has PCOS, no idea if there are under laying syndromes or illness for the other three. So where all these fat children people keep talking about are hiding, it's not where I live.

fluffacloud Fri 08-Mar-13 20:20:08


DD1 is 3.2, she wears age 5-6, her coat (M&S) is 6-7.

There's not an ounce of fat on her. She's off the chart for height and around 75 for weight.

It's genetics, I'm a 5'11 beanpole and DP is 6'5 and built like a brick out house.

Do I worry that she'll be the height and have the same frame as Miranda Hart? Every bloody day! grin

butterfingerz Fri 08-Mar-13 20:20:21

Its the same when you shop for children as when you shop for adults - different sizes in every shop. I know for a fact that M&S kids clothes come up standard/slightly small yet their kids shoes are a size bigger usually.

Jojomamanbebe are enormous, my 4.5yr old dd is still wearing their 2-3 tshirts. Mini boden come up large too.

I don't see too many overweight kids in my dcs primary, maybe the parents your husband hears complaining have tall dc? My dn is a beanpole, he's 8 but has to wear 9-10yrs.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 08-Mar-13 20:21:33

Carolra my DD was a seriously chunky baby. She breastfed then weaned on a healthy balanced diet. She was a late walker and now at just 2 yrs old she has suddenly shot up and is long and fairly lean with no more rolls on her legs. I stressed out about it, but so long as they're eating healthily the health visitors assured me it would all balance out and it has.

girliefriend Fri 08-Mar-13 20:25:16

ya of course bu.

My dd is very slim but at 7yo I struggle to find any clothes in her age range to fit her, most of her clothes now are 9-10yo. She is tall but by no means excessively so and I think clothes are based on smaller than average rather than average.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 08-Mar-13 20:27:02

There was a study recently which found that, based on postcode, so not ALL that accuurate maybe, children from middle class families are actually the fattest, NOT the "estate" kids people like to think.
Based on my highly unscientific experience of living on an estate, and now in a very mc area, I would say that is true.
Most kids on our estate were whippets, but many kids at ds's school are quite large.
My friend told me that her ds was classed as overweight by the school weight check thingy, and was spluttering about how ridiculous it was, but actually Ido think he is quite chubby. As with adults, we have become used to people being bigger, so perception of "overweight" has changed somewhat.
I do think childrens clothes should be sized not aged though.
Ds is still in trousers that are 2 years younger than he is, which make me think he is a shortarse. Because he is

butterfingerz Fri 08-Mar-13 20:29:09

I think kids clothes should be sized, as they are on the continent, you buy as per height in cm.

netherlee Fri 08-Mar-13 20:34:30

I don't think people have really understood. We know full well children come in different shapes and sizes and sometimes it can't be helped a child is big or small for their age, but we are fooling ourselves saying there is no problem with overeating and lack of exercise in children, and excessive weight can be lost. Its not like saying people fed up with benefits should get up and get a job.

Sizing by measurements rather than age like for adults is the most sensible thing, as a few have stated already.

SCOTCHandWRY Fri 08-Mar-13 20:39:01

Mmmm, I'm sure I've read this post before op, did you post the same thing a year or so ago? Under a different name?

Very odd and Goading IMO.

Snoopingforsoup Fri 08-Mar-13 20:42:36

Hang on, since when was underweight healthy?
Let's all have anorexic kids shall we, just to please you?
Good grief, I don't like the obesity epidemic either, but let's not assume that under weight is a good thing?
For the record, sporty kids often have more defined muscle and actually require larger sizes.
Take a moment to consider the anorexia crisis too OP.

Carolra Fri 08-Mar-13 20:42:51

Bless your heart MisForMumNotMaid thank you. We try not to worry, and she's cute as a button, but it's hard not to compare her to her skinny friends. Then these threads pop up every now and again about fat kids and my heart breaks for her. I just trust that as long as we offer her healthy food, it will work out for her longer term!!

dayshiftdoris Fri 08-Mar-13 20:48:39


All the clothes I have bought for my son in the past few years atleast are by age but have the related measurements for height and sometimes chest.

YABU because what correlated the buying larger sizes to children who are overweight and the buying of smaller sizes with healthy.

Yet you also acknowledge that sizes are for 'average'.... well there is a whole LOT of normal that is not underweight of overweight.

My son, is and always has been on the 99th centile for height and weight. He swims 2-3 times a week, plays sport and has a six-pack. His diet is good and yet get this he wears an Age 10-11 in most shops at the age of 8... His BMI (done by his comm paed) was normal a month ago

His need for bigger clothes isnt caused by over-eating but some rogue gene that is going to make him taller than his mother at 10yrs.

He's not alone, children are getting taller and bigger because our generation of children are not only better fed but have come from parents who were also, on the whole, better fed than than the generation before. The 'average' measurements you speak will be always behind the children who are wearing the clothes.

Being obese is a medical condition, diagnosed by health professionals - not some guy selling school trousers and making a judgement.

delilahlilah Fri 08-Mar-13 20:51:58

Overweight is something people can work on in most circumstances Op, you are right. People can also work on being small minded and leaping to conclusions but they don't always do so.

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 20:52:27

"Sites like M&S are similarly strewn with such comments."

And sites like MN are strewn with comments from parents of tall, slim children who struggle to find trousers from M & S because they only cater for children that aren't slim. I have given up trying to buy school trousers for my 12 year old daughter because they are too short and too wide. So I buy an adult size 6 black trousers from New Look instead.

sleepyhead Fri 08-Mar-13 20:53:24

When I was wee (1970s - 1980s) children's clothes tended to be sold by height and not age.

Not that it would make much difference for someone who was larger or smaller than average around the waist or thighs.

Anyway, we're all different shapes and sizes. Not everyone can be average so some people will have to buy their children clothes that are large for their "age" and some will have to buy smaller than their "age". Obviously.

Your op says that your dp is getting exasperated at the number of people who are complaining that the sizes are too small, and in that yanbu. The sizes are the sizes. Go up if it's too tight, go down if it's too loose.

smileymam Fri 08-Mar-13 20:54:36

My son is over weight, my daughter is not, both eat the same, home cooked not processed foods both do regular sports activitys. Your oh attitude is why I hate going shopping for clothes, he sounds like a judgemental arsehole, who is in the wrong job, he should be grateful they are spending money there regardless of their size, sincerely hope they start shopping elsewhere. And why do you think that a child that is in a smaller size is automaticly healthy!

catkind Fri 08-Mar-13 20:54:39

It's the variety of sizes within a "size" that bugs me. So yes, I do sometimes grumble when 2-3 size clothes are too small for my baby who's otherwise in 12-18 or 18-24 months.

sleepyhead Fri 08-Mar-13 20:56:40

Oh, and my perception buying school trousers is that the sizes are massive, but that's because ds is a 25 percentile child - it's just my perception, not the reality.

mamaduckbone Fri 08-Mar-13 20:59:29

YABU. My ds is in age 10-11 clothes aged 7. He is in the 97 th centile for height and always has been. Clothes are made for average sized children so clearly there will be some above or below that.

goldwrapped Fri 08-Mar-13 21:04:18

YABU - utterly. My beautiful 13 year old daughter is 6'2" with size 9 feet. Age 12-13 clothes? You're having a laugh! Luckily she's proud of her size and we have a laugh counting how many times we hear "aren't you tall?" when we go out. I rely on non-bigoted adults to reinforce this. I would boycott a shop which reinforced such prejudice. Your husband should change his career - maybe a job as a Tory politician would suit him better, then he can be as judgemental as he likes, and not care who he offends.

cantspel Fri 08-Mar-13 21:07:11

Kids clothes seem to be made on the big side these days and then you have the generous fit ranges they do on top.
No where caters well for slim children. The most you will find is trousers where you can adjust the waist by pulling in the elastic. Great as it stops the trousers falling down but you still end up with a child who looks like he is wearing a sack because of all the spare material just gathered around the arse area.

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 21:18:18

Exactly Cantspel. When DD was at primary school her trousers looked like rompers on her. Going down a waist size would have meant wearing trousers way too short for her. I find M & S and Asda the worst shops for school clothes for slim children.

3monkeys Fri 08-Mar-13 21:19:11

I have a nightmare buying clothes for DD. she is 11 and big for her age, tall and solid. She plays football up to 4 times a week and eats the same as her brothers who are skinny, and probably less. She was born with lovely fleshy hips that used to stick out of the top of her nappy, and she still has! Yes she could be a bit slimmer, but where would you suggest I fit more excercise in?! And your OH doesn't need to make her feel fat, her peers at school do that

sleepyhead Fri 08-Mar-13 21:23:11

I've clearly read another op, because I can't see anywhere where the op has said her dp is mocking larger or smaller, or shorter or taller than average children.

The op said that the parents were criticising him for having incorrectly labelled clothing. Ie, that the parents are insisting that their children are average and the clothes sizes are wrong.


Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now