With childhood obesity threatening to make children grow out of their clothes way too soon, retailer Marks and Spencer are planning to dress a new generation with bulging waistlines by launching their 'plus-size' clothing to children as young as three.
The retailer said it began a trial of the "plus fit" range last week, in an attempt to meet consumer demand.
AdvertisementMeanwhile the health campaigners said the decision by the High Street giant demonstrated the scale of the obesity epidemic affecting Britain's "overindulged" children.
The garments are cut far more generously than the retailer's standard sizes, with almost two and a half inches extra around the waistline and hips for clothes for three-year-olds.
"It is an absolutely tragic illustration of the terrible obesity problem this country faces, and how early in life it starts. People used to dismiss obesity as a problem of the lower classes, but the decision by M and S shows just how widespread the problem is," the Telegraph quoted Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum, as saying.
"This is about middle-class children being overindulged and carried everywhere in 4x4 cars, not to mention a generation of parents who haven't been taught domestic science, and don't know how to feed their children a healthy meal at the end of the day."
The range, billed as "cut more generously for larger sizes" employs styles such as 'boot cut' trousers in an attempt to flatter the proportions of overweight children between the ages of three and 16.
A spokesman for M and S said the trial had began last week, and came in response to consumer demand and trends among its competitors. He said a decision about whether to introduce the range permanently would depend on customer response.