Plus-Sized Clothing for Toddlers?

Plus-sized clothing for children is nothing new.  Even when I was a young girl back in the 1970′s, larger sizes for bigger kids could be found in their own special section of most department stores.   They called them ‘husky’ and the selection was quite limited. A husky boy could choose from a few different pants and shirts and a big girl might find a dress or two in her size.

Things have changed.  These days, the selection of plus-sized children’s clothing has grown to the point that in many stores, it equals the offering of standard-sized clothing.  And now, these expanded sizes aren’t just available for school-aged kids.  In the UK, a large retail store recently began selling an entire line of plus-sized clothing for kids as young as three.  That’s right, plus-sized clothing for toddlers.

Marks and Spencer, which appears to be similar to an American Target store, calls these larger sizes ‘plus-fit’ because they are a little more generous with the fabric than standard sizes.  With nearly two and a half extra inches around the waist and hips, an overweight toddler can comfortably sit on the couch and munch chips without any binding or pinching.

Of course, nobody is saying that overweight toddlers shouldn’t have cute clothes.  But according to Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum in the UK, the availability of what amounts to fat clothes for toddlers is an indication that the childhood obesity problem has reached tragic proportions.

“This about middle-class children being overindulged and carried everywhere in 4×4 cars, not to mention a generation of parents who haven’t been taught domestic science, and don’t know how to feed their children a healthy meal at the end of the day.”

In the past, a parent of a larger-than-average 3-year-old might need to buy a bigger size and hem the pants or alter the sleeves.  But by making available what amounts to fat clothes for toddlers, are we not conceding defeat in the war against childhood obesity and normalizing what used to be the exception?

Image: phil denton/Flickr

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