London: Four obese children in Britain are likely to be permanently removed from their family by social workers after it was found that their parents failed to bring their weight under control.

The children's parents now face what they call the "unbearable" likelihood of never seeing them again. Their three daughters, aged 11, seven and one, and five-year-old son, will either be "fostered without contact" or adopted, daily reported.

The family only hope of being reunited will be if the children attempt to track down their parents when they turned adults.

The couple was given an ultimatum three years ago and the family also spent two years living in a council-funded `Big Brother? house in which they were constantly supervised and their food was monitored.

News of the decision to remove them was broken to the couple, from Dundee, Scotland Tuesday.

Critics have called it a disgraceful breach of human rights and a chilling example of the power of the state to meddle in family life.

The childrens' mother said: "We might not be the perfect parents, but we love our children with all our hearts. To face a future where we will never see them again is unbearable.

Social workers became aware of the family in early 2008 when one of the sons falsely accused his father of hitting him. But the allegation opened the door to the obesity investigation.

It is estimated 26 million British adults will be obese by 2030, with obesity levels running at an all-time high among children.

(Agencies)