A slimming company has apologised after school children in Northern Ireland were given flyers about a weight-loss club.

Pupils at Tonagh Primary School in Lisburn, Co Antrim, were given the Slimming World leaflets in their homework folders earlier this month.

The material included a picture of a slim woman, with the caption: "Live Happy! With Slimming World."

Both the school and Slimming World said the initiative was not intended to cause offence and that the material was targeted at parents, rather than children.

Tonagh Primary School principal Alison Stevenson said: "The school periodically receives requests to distribute information to parents.

"These requests are typically from organisations that provide services to the local community.

"Tonagh Primary School distributes information where it may be of interest to the school community and/or parents.

"It is certainly not our intention to cause any offence to parents or children of this school."

A Slimming World spokesperson said: "There was never any offence intended by the placement of these leaflets and both we and the local consultant in Lisburn are truly sorry for any upset caused.

"Slimming World consultants work hard to make people within their local community aware of the support they provide for those who want to lose weight, and these leaflets were intended for parents, not the children of Tonagh Primary School."

A parent of one of the children at Tonagh, who asked to remain anonymous, contacted the Ulster Star newspaper to express her concerns that the material could undermine the healthy body image of her children who attend the school.

She said: "Kids, especially younger girls, see how women are judged by their size every day, more so with online social media.

"Primary school children who are learning to read shouldn't be given promotional advertising suggesting happy lives are for slim people."

Other parents praised the school and the initiative and also the work of Slimming World.