A 49-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman, from King’s Lynn in Norfolk, were questioned by officers over the child’s care and released on bail.
A Norfolk police spokesperson said intervention at this level was “very rare” and only occurred where other attempts to protect the child had been unsuccessful.
“When dealing with sensitive issues such as obesity and neglect of children, officers from the force’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit work closely with partners, significantly with both health care and social services, to ensure any response to address them are proportionate and necessary. Any action taken by any agency will be subject to a joint strategy and will always be taken with the welfare of the child and their protection from harm as paramount.”
The couple were arrested in March on suspicion of child neglect and cruelty under section 1 of the Children’s Act 1933.
A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: “Our priority will always be the health, well-being and safety of Norfolk’s children and we will always do all we can to support families to meet their children’s needs.”
Currently primary school children in Reception (age 4-5) and Year 6 (age 10-11) have their height and weight measured as part of the government’s National Child Measurement Programme. Parents in most areas will receive a letter with the results for their child, which will indicate if they are underweight, a healthy weight or overweight for their age and height.
This is judged by calculating their body mass index or BMI – their weight (in kg) divided by the square of their height (in metres). The results are then plotted on a chart and collected by local public health teams.
The Sun reported the couple’s 11-year-old son is 5ft 1in (1.5m) and 15 stone, with a body mass index (BMI) of 41.8. It alleged concerned teachers and doctors prompted intervention by social services and then police.