A slim and active four-year-old girl has been branded OBESE by a council to the fury of her mother – who is a slimming coach.
Gracie James-Coggins loves to swim and plays on her trampoline every day.
She also takes part in weekly gymnastics classes, completed a two-mile charity run last week and has a healthy diet.
But her parents were furious after they were sent a letter by Bristol City Council labelling their 3st 6lb daughter ‘obese’ after a weigh-in at school.
Mum-of-two Kim, 38, a slimming coach, said the authority was “ridiculous” and said they risked giving children a weight phobia.
Council bosses have now backtracked and blamed the letter on an “administrative error”.
Kim, from Bristol, said: “I think it’s terrible for the council to send out letters like this.
Anyone looking at her can see she is a healthy young girl.
“As a mum you always try to do your best to make sure your child is healthy, so to be told this is very upsetting.
“She plays on her big trampoline every day and is constantly running, skipping and cartwheeling and doesn’t get out of breath.
“On Saturday she completed a two mile route doing Race for Life.
“I feel this really needs to be stopped – labelling children as obese because an out-dated chart says that they shouldn’t be that weight.
“Me and her dad are quite tall, so to compare Gracie to a child who might have shorter parents and be a smaller build just seems ridiculous.”
Gracie, who turns five next month, is routinely measured and weighed at Parson Street Primary School as part of the National Childhood Measurement Programme.
Kim – who hasn’t told her daughter about the letter – said the youngster eats a balanced diet of lots of fruit and vegetables every day and hardly ever snacks.
But the letter from the council warns Gracie is at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and ‘low self-esteem’ because of her weight.
Kim added: “I’ve always battled with my weight so I was really conscious with Gracie that I didn’t want her to go through the same thing I have.
“I’m quite a strong person but I think quite a lot of other letters might have gone out to other parents who might be really worried by this.”
Bristol City Council apologised for distressing the family.
A spokesman said: “An administrative error was made by the council’s commissioned provider in this case and we will shortly be contacting the family to discuss the accurate measure and apologise for any distress caused.
“The National Childhood Measurement Programme is a way of monitoring the whole population using the Body Mass Indicator calculations, which are adjusted for the child’s age and gender.
“Whilst no-one would claim the measure is perfect, in many cases it can act as an early warning sign of potential issues with weight.
“It is important to recognise that every child is different and this information is provided only as a guide for parents, who will know their children the best.”