Baby aged just eight months is seen by NHS obesity clinic – but expert says ‘it’s not unheard of’

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • The baby was seen at a specialist NHS weight management service in Somerset

A baby of eight months has been seen by a new service for severely obese children.

The NHS service in Somerset, called Splash, is one of only a few in the country offering under-fours and their families access to dietary and psychological support.

Dr Chris Knight, clinical director of paediatrics said: ‘Eight months is unusual but at that kind of age we can really make progress about how they are feeding those children at such an early stage.

‘There’s a really good opportunity there to turn things around.

‘The majority of our cases are between the ages of two and four but about 15% are under two.’

A baby of eight months has been seen by a new service for severely obese children (stock image)

Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental physiology at the University of Bristol (pictured), said: 'It's not unheard of for babies as young as six months to be severely obese because their parents often start giving them solids too soon'

Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental physiology at the University of Bristol (pictured), said: ‘It’s not unheard of for babies as young as six months to be severely obese because their parents often start giving them solids too soon’

He added: ‘At the very young age of eight months old, that often relates to issues where young babies are taking really large quantities of milk.

‘That can be a difficult cycle to break, they’re relying on milk for comfort but having a really high intake does mean they gain a lot of weight.’

Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental physiology at the University of Bristol, said: ‘It’s not unheard of for babies as young as six months to be severely obese because their parents often start giving them solids too soon.’

The Somerset Pre-school Lifestyle Activity Skills for Self-Help (SPLASH) is a weight management service where doctors, dietitians and psychologists monitor food behaviours and seek to build parental confidence.

It began as a trial in April 2022, but has proved so successful it has now been given permanent funding. 

More than 50 families have been working with the service since it started and two in five of those have also had the support of a psychologist.

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