Popular high street retailer Next has launched a new range of clothing called “plus fit” to cater for a broader range of children’s shapes and sizes.
The range, sold along with regular fit and “slim fit” sizes, is being sold on the store’s website, aimed at children aged 3 to 16 years.
The retailer describes the larger size as being “more generous through the waist and hips for a comfortable fit”.
According to a spokesperson for the retailer, “Our different fits cater for children with different size waist and hips, taking into account that children come in all different shapes and sizes.”
An ‘age three plus fit’ pair of trousers boasts a waistband which is five centimetres larger than standard.
The plus fit has a 58cm waist, compared to 53cm on the standard pair.
‘Age 10 plus fit’ trousers, meanwhile, have a waistband of 69cm in size, compared to a 64cm measure on standard age 10 trousers.
Tam Fry, chief exec of the National Obesity Forum, said: “Next isn’t setting a new trend, they are catering for the market.
“Mothers wanting to clothe their fat children just can’t find the clothes for them.
“They are responding to the current state of affairs.
“It has been in a bad state for a long time but this just shows it has now gone beyond the point of a crisis.
“The UK is sitting on a time bomb of childhood obesity, children are several times fatter than they were in 2002.”
Next has been contacted for comment.