School uniform shops are stocking increasing numbers of extra large sizes to cope with the expanding waistlines of Sussex’s children.
Pupils are wearing uniforms designed for children six years their senior, sometimes specially tailored for larger kids.
In one case a uniform provider sold a XXXXL pair of trousers – with a whop- ping 42 inch waist – and said she had to specially create certain clothes to fit super-sized schoolchildren.
Klassy Kids, who supply uniforms to more than 25 schools from Seaford to Lewes, said more and more children were buying larger sizes.
Joy Twigg, owner of the company, said she had even started stocking special “sturdy” trousers which are more elastic round the waist and are far wider than they are long.
She said: “There has definitely been an increase in large sizes.
“Schools want fewer of the three to four age bracket.
“Most of the children now start at age four to five, or five to six. We do not sell many of the very small sizes.
“Instead we are selling ages 11 to 12 or 13 to 14 for junior school kids (aged up to 11).
“The industry has accepted the fact that kids are getting bigger.
“You can now buy two fits: standard and sturdy.
“Sales are increasing [of the sturdy fit] and is starting to take over from standard fit – I certainly keep them in stock more regularly.”
The trousers are aimed at 10 to 16- year-old boys and have a larger waist and shorter legs and elastic around the back so they have more give.
Mrs Twigg added: “XL and XXL are a standard stock for me now.”
Around one in six 10 and 11-year-olds in Brighton and Hove are obese according to latest figures.
The National Child Measurement Programme, which weighs children in reception and Year Six, found older children were getting bigger in the city. Last year, 15.5% of the 1,979 Year Six pupils weighed were classified as obese, up from 15.2% in 2010/11.
And 7.7% of 2,491 reception pupils were measured as obese.
In his annual report published last year, the city’s director of public health, Tom Scanlon, said it was important parents and carers of overweight and obese children were aware of the weight management services that are available.