Five-year old cancer patient Lewis Mighty has been branded too fat by the NHS – because he put on two pounds after having chemotherapy.
Lewis was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a cancer of the nerve tissue) in October 2008, and has endured 19 months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery since then, causing him to lose two stone. So when he started to gain weight again, his parents, Jaime and Perry, from Mackworth,were overjoyed.
Then they received a letter from officials from NHS Derby City informing them that their son was 2lb over a 'healthy weight' for his age. It even pointed out that Lewis was at risk of cancer and suggested he should take up swimming, despite the fact that an intravenous drip in his chest to deliver drugs prevents him from being in water.
Lewis's mother, Jaime, told the Daily Mail: 'I have watched my son become horrifically thin during his treatment, and it's an amazing achievement for him to have put on a few pounds. We have struggled so hard to put on a bit of weight on this little boy. Every pound has been a struggle.
'Even if Lewis was a well child, it would have been wrong. It's absolutely disgusting – it's a slap in the face for cancer sufferers across the country.
'I don't know how anyone would class him as overweight. If someone saw him they would probably want to give him a meal.'
She said Lewis's consultant at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham 'couldn't believe it' and speculated that the NHS was not using an up-to-date system for calculating children's healthy weight.
Lewis measured 3ft 10 in and weighed 3st 5lb when he was assessed under the National Child Measurement Programme at school. The programme, introduced five years ago, measures children in reception class and then again when they are 10 and 11.
NHS officials judged that Lewis was 2lb over the healthy weight for his age – between 2st 7lb and 3st 3lb.
The letter comes days after the parents of healthy five-year-olds Gracie Hill and Bailey Russell received similar warnings from NHS Derby City that they were overweight.
What do you think?
Is the NHS causing more problems than it is solving?
Should it be telling parents what weight their children should be?