In a worrying development Britain’s largest ‘off-the-peg’ suit - the XXXXL - has gone on sale, boasting a 64 inch chest jacket and 60 inch waist trousers. Health experts fear the development and say that a record 5.5 million overweight Britons are now officially on GP registers with an eight percent rise over last year. This also means numbers have risen by a quarter of a million. The number of people needing hospital care for obesity shot up ten-fold in the last decade. In 2009 there were 10,720 hospital admissions due to obesity compared to just 1,000 in 1999, according to the NHS Information Centre. Problems ranged from breathing difficulties to organ failure. Many needed bariatric surgery such as gastric band or gastric bypass procedures to help them lose weight and control obesity-related diabetes.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum speaking of the huge suit said that the fact that such a suit is now required as “horrifying”. “It just goes to show that we have a huge problem… Clearly so many are reaching this weight that clothes to fit them are available on the High Street alongside normal sizes… The public health implications are huge, and it is going to take a generation or more to tackle this crisis,” he added.
John Murphy, director of retail operations at High And Mighty added, “We are leading increasingly sedentary lives; it is hard for parents to keep their children away from the television or the computer and the consequences of that are visible…We have found there is enough demand to make larger sizes available, including the largest suit available on the High Street….We are also getting taller ever year, and guys are not only getting bigger but they are also coming in different shapes which makes it harder for them to find clothes that fit…We aim to prove a place where people can come in and get measured properly for clothes that actually fit.” He also said that both children and adults are getting fatter. Marks & Spencer has launched a ‘plus fit’ range of school uniforms for big children.