Department Store Debuts Plus-Sized School Uniforms

Marks and Spencer recently launched a new line of school uniforms geared toward overweight and obese children as young as three.

A leading British department store has embraced the nation’s growing trend of childhood obesity by introducing a plus-sized line of school uniforms for children ages 3 to 16.

The clothes are being distributed by retailer Marks and Spencer and include sizes for pre-schoolers that would normally be worn by second-graders. The new uniforms illustrate the disturbing rise in obesity in children in the UK before they even reach grade school.

Critics claim that this should be a wake-up call and hopes the bigger clothing won’t normalize obesity in children. Marks and Spencer, the top school wear retailer for Britain, created the plus sized clothing in response to the growing demand from parents. The company says it wants to ensure that its clothing is available for all children, regardless of shape and size.

One in five children in England begins school life overweight or obese, the NHS Information Centre reported last year. That number climbs to one in three children by the time they enter primary school. Recent studies indicate that obesity and weight gain in early childhood sets a pattern for life.

Dr. Andrew Buist of the British Medical Association’s Scottish General Practitioners Committee says it is important for children to learn about healthy living and nutrition at an early age.

In an interview with, Dr. Buist noted, “Educating children in schools about a healthy diet and ensuring they get adequate physical activity is essential.”