There are new fears about the level of childhood obesity in the UK after it emerged an eight-year-old girl has been taken into care because she is dangerously overweight.
The girl, from west Cumbria, who cannot be named, has been removed from her parents because she is 5ft and a size 16.
This is six sizes bigger than the average child her age, and she has also suffered numerous health problems due to her spiralling weight.
But her parents say they are devastated at the move and claim her large size is due to a medical condition or genetics, and not a poor diet.
Research shows west Cumbria is suffering from an obesity timebomb, as 40% of residents are classed as overweight, with 17% classified as obese.
The girl's mother said: "Our world has fallen apart. Our daughter doesn't over-eat and she's active. I always put her first and I'd do anything to get her back. She's always been chubby but she's always out playing with other kids. The only bad thing we have given her is fizzy drinks."
It is the first time that Cumbria County Council has removed a child from its parents because of obesity.
Anne Ridgway, chair of the Cumbria Local Safeguarding Children Board, said: "Parental behaviour that leads to childhood obesity can be a form of neglect.
"But a child's weight becomes a safeguarding issue only in extreme cases - and thankfully they are very rare."
"Sometimes these things are necessary" - Name and address supplied
"It is despicable that a child has been removed from her parents because she is overweight. What is overweight? There is NO overweight - it is simply a control issue. The State has no business weighing our children. It has gone too far" - Name and address supplied