CHILDREN as young as ten have had hip replacements due to obesity.
Three girls aged ten to 14 had the op because they were overweight last year, the stats reveal.
Nine girls and two boys aged 15 to 19 also needed surgery in the same year to April 2020.
In the 12 months before that, 14 kids aged 15 to 19 had the op, as well as one boy aged between ten and 14.
And the NHS Digital figures show the problem is rising.
Only seven kids aged 15 to 19 had the op in 2017-18, with none in the ten to 14 age range.
Hip replacements are usually given after other therapies and exercise have failed. Each op costs about £5,000 and implants last an average of 25 years. A report this year found that 20 per cent of Year 6 pupils are classed as obese.
Experts fear the impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns have made the problem worse.
PM Boris Johnson last month launched an obesity drive, with plans including a ban on junk food ads before 9pm and halting the sale of chocolates, crisps and sweets at checkouts.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The fact that children as young as ten need these operations is an indictment on society. Just how many health professionals failed to take action on their behalf?
“Boris Johnson’s ‘war on fat’ will do little to quell figures like these in future. He professes that preventing obesity is at the heart of his campaign yet there is little about prevention in it.”