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Weighing Children should be mandatory

Experts are calling for mandatory weight monitoring of children following a report that shows 20% of millennium babies were obese by 11.

The Millennium Cohort study which follows 13,000 children born in the UK showed a surge in obesity between the ages of 7-11.

In Wales and Northern Ireland, 40% were obese or overweight. The figures were 35% in England and 33% in Scotland.

The Institute of Education in London analysed data on the children's height and weight at ages three, five, seven and eleven.  They found that 12% were obese up until age seven where these figures dramatically increased.

Similar patterns were found among those who were borderline overweight/obese. 25% were obese at seven but this increased to 35% at 11.

Lead researcher Dr Roxanne Connelly told the BBC: "To be honest, unfortunately I wasn't surprised.

"Generally healthy weight children were becomingly increasingly overweight or obese so parents should be vigilant of even healthy weight children.

"But this is a whole family problem, parents who are overweight are handing it down to their children in a vicious circle."

Children with obese mums were the most likely to be obese or overweight.

"If we could help mothers with weight loss, then they could pass that on to their children. "