Mums more likely than ever to have 'sumo' babies weighing more than a stone

MATERNITY units are seeing a worrying surge in “sumo” babies — weighing more than a stone.

A total of 282 infants have been born in the past four years tipping the scales at 12lbs.

But incredibly, the Office for National Statistics ­figures for England and Wales also show 32 newborns weighing 14lbs or heavier.

Experts say the rise in “exceptional” birth weights — triggering a fourfold increase in caesarean births in the past 20 years — is partly down to the UK’s obesity crisis.

The size of babies has been growing since the 1950s due to better, more balanced diets.

But the National ­Obesity Forum’s Tam Fry said: “The Government’s aim to give every child the best start is for the birds if it continues to ignore the health of mums.

“It’s a disgrace that over half of women enter pregnancy at an unhealthy weight, which risks condemning offspring to a life of obesity.

“UK pre-conceptual counselling services are still in the dark ages and leave hundreds of thousands of women ignorant that a healthy weight at booking-in is vital to ­giving their child the best start.”

The average UK birth weight is 7lb 8oz for boys and 7lb 4oz for girls.

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