Children wrongly labelled overweight by IT error

The parents of 2,500 healthy children may have been told their child was overweight after a computer glitch

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Mums and dads across the country may have been wrongly informed that their child was overweight, following an IT glitch, reports the Telegraph.

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Children are weighed at the start and the end of their time at primary school as part of the National Child Measurement Programme, which aims to battle childhood obesity. Parents of overweight children are then sent “parental feedback letters” if it’s believed their child needs to lose weight.

However, it’s been suggested that because of a software error, 2,500 children may have been incorrectly weighed and measured, with hundreds being wrongly told that they need to lose weight.

A letter from the NHS Information Centre has informed Primary Care Trusts to ignore any letters that have labelled children as overweight.

“Information about their child’s weight is a sensitive and important matter for parents and we would like to apologise for any unnecessary concern this error may have caused,” said Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre.

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“We alerted NHS staff responsible for carrying out the measurement programme locally as soon as the problem came to light and are working with them to ensure that families affected by these letters are contacted personally,” added Tim.

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