British Kids Termed Overweight by Mistake

LONDON, Oct. 9 (UPI) — Thanks to a computer error, hundreds of British families were told mistakenly that their children were overweight, the government admitted.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has halted the notifications until the glitch is fixed, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.


Millions of schoolchildren are weighed at the beginning and end of the school year for the National Child Measurement Program to combat child obesity.

“Parental feedback letters,” generated by a computer program, are sent advising parents if their offspring need to lose weight.

Government sources believe 2,500 children may have been incorrectly weighed and measured, and hundreds told they were overweight, because of a software error.

For example, children with a healthy body mass index centile of 87 were wrongly told they were overweight.

Anyone classed with a body mass index centile, a formula of height and weight, exceeding 91 is classified as overweight.

A BMI centile is calculated differently from standard BMI, where anyone with a BMI of more than 25 is considered overweight.

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