Overweight 10-month baby caught up in obesity epidemic sparks …

New figures yesterday showed almost 1,000 children were sent to hospital in the last three years over fears about their weight.

Shocking statistics show a fifth of four-year-olds are now overweight or obese – a problem estimated to cost the NHS £5billion a year for all ages. According to figures obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, 932 children under the age of 15 were admitted to hospital with a ­primary diagnosis of obesity.

They included 283 primary school-age children and 101 under the age of five.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said it had admitted the 10-month-old for obesity in the past year, while Mid Staffs NHS Trust said a one-year-old girl was sent to it by a worried doctor.

At Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, there were 172 children diagnosed with obesity, while Great Ormond Street Hospital in London admitted 97 ­children.

Dr Mars Skae, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “I am increasingly being referred children as young as four years of age in our specialist obesity clinics.

“It is not unusual for me to see 18-stone teenagers in our clinic and this is extremely worrying.

“Childhood obesity is the foremost public health threat currently facing the young of this nation.”