By now it's no longer news that childhood obesity is steadily on the rise. Especially in the western world, where foods dangerously high in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients are easily accessible. Not to mention the widespread inactivity among youth these days, thanks to advances in technology. Kids as young as 10 years old have phones and tablet devices that keep them indoors a majority of the time, and they're already pros at navigating social media. Instagram would have sounded like a chocolate bar when we were kids. Instagram obviously isn't a chocolate bar, but it may as well be just as fattening, because it keeps kids in one spot all day long. Recent reports claim that certain schools in Puerto Rico are looking to move a bill that allows school officials to fine $800 to the parents of children who are deemed to be obese. This comes after studies show that nearly 30% of kids in Puerto Rico are classified as obese.
We've heard of some of the heaviest adults in the world weighing up to an astonishing half ton (over 1000 lbs), but the size of the young children who've made this list are truly shocking. It's incomprehensible to think that a parent could allow their pre-schooler to outweigh them, but this list depicts just that. Among the many health concerns involved in dangerously out of control weight for a child include diabetes, heart disease, and most seriously, premature death. The good news is that the heaviest child on this list was miraculously able to completely transform her weight after surviving a critical health scare, proving that childhood obesity is not a hopeless battle after all. Here are 10 of the world's heaviest children ever recorded.
10 Deyneur de Agudelo - 11 months, 61 lbs
One of the biggest infants in the world, Colombian born Deyneur de Agudelo, weighed 61 lbs by the time he turned 11 months old. Making his body mass index an intense 55, one of the absolute highest recorded for a baby. Deyneur weighed roughly 5 times as much as the average infant his age. 61 lbs is the weight of the average fourth grade boy. Video footage of the boy and his mother show the slender woman absolutely struggling to hold him up. Medical examinations performed on the child have determined that he may have a problem with his endocrine system, a part of the body responsible for hormones. Further tests have also determined a thyroid malfunction.
9 Jamia - 3 years old, 89 lbs
When she was 2 years old, Jamia appeared on The Maury Povich Show, weighing in at an unfathomable 75 lbs. Jamia's mother found it impossible to lift her two year old up at such a hefty weight. A year later, a 3 year old Jamia returned to the show 14 lbs heavier at a tremendous 89 lbs. The little girl's mother reportedly allowed her to eat as much of her favorite foods to her heart's content, including double cheeseburgers, fried chicken drumsticks and french fries, and reportedly also wasn't at all concerned with the child's dangerously high weight.
8 Jose - 2 years old, 100 lbs
Another incredibly unbelievable story; 2 year old Jose also appeared on The Maury Povich Show, weighing in at an unheard of 100 lbs, the average weight of a 12 year old child. With an apparent endless appetite, the toddler was said to constantly sneak food even when his parents would deny or limit his access to the fridge. Jose has an unimaginable body mass index of 73, the same BMI as a 500 lb man might have.
7 Honey Boo Boo - 9 years old, 125 lbs
The most famous child on the list, Alanna Thompson better known as Honey Boo Boo, is only in the fourth grade and already weighs a shocking 125 lbs. The severely overweight pageant girl has been seen on the reality TV show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, praising her mother's home cooked "skettie," which basically consists of the carb heavy spaghetti, tomato sauce and pounds upon pounds of butter. Alanna's uncle, Lee Thompson, blames her mother for her obesity, claiming to never having seen Mama June serve her kids a healthy meal and saying, “She feeds Alana lots of fast food, like McDonald’s and Taco Bell. I’ve seen June give Alana a 20-piece chicken McNugget, and she ate every bite! She lets Alana eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants. That’s why she’s morbidly obese.”
6 Bobby - 3 years old, 130 lbs
Rebecca appeared on The Maury Povich Show, after writing him a long letter expressing her concerns for her morbidly obese 3 year old son Bobby, who weighed an unbelievable 130 lbs, heavier than the average teen. In the letter, Rebecca embarrassingly describes an incident where her husband overheard their son's doctor talking about how disgusting it is for a parent to let their child's weight get so out of control. While on the talk show, footage can be seen of the distraught mother trying unsuccessfully to limit the amount of food that Bobby is fed, but the boy throws a temper tantrum that only ends when he gets more food. She also shared that 3 year old Bobby had to wear clothes made for teens and could only fit in adult diapers.
5 Lu hao - 3 years old, 132 lbs
When Lu Hao was born, he only weighed 5.7 lbs, but by the time he turned 3 months old, he suddenly began gaining weight at an accelerated rate. By the age of 3 years old, the toddler weighed in at an astonishing 132 lbs, the size of a full grown adult. Lu's mother Chen Yuan, maintains they have to keep feeding him as his appetite desires because if they do not, he'll cry incessantly. The little boy's immense size makes it very difficult to lift him up. The boy's father Yun Cheng has said, "In both of our families, there was no such giant person."
4 Suman Khatun - 6 years old, 200 lbs
6 year old Suman Khatun is known as the heaviest child in India. Her father only earns $15 a week which he's forced to spend on the first grader's endless appetite, while the rest of the family- including her 2 regular sized siblings- practically starve. When Suman is finished her gigantic lunch, which usually consists of two large bowls of rice, two large plates of fried fish, two fried eggs and two omelettes, the not so little girl runs across to her neighbors demanding more food. Her mother, Beli Bibi, has been quoted as saying, "She's hungry all the time and all she does is cry. I don't like seeing my daughter so sad so I feed her. What am I meant to do? I feel so embarrassed when she goes over the road and demands more food, it's like we starve her or something. Then my neighbors feel sorry for her so they feed her too". Doctors have advised Suman's parents that if things don't change soon, she's at risk for cardiac arrest.
3 Justin Painter - 7 years old, 250 lbs
When Justin Painter was just 7 years old, he already weighed 100 lbs more than the average adult, at a whopping 250 lbs. The boy's mother, Joyce, desperately sought answers from doctors since he was 3 years old- right around the time signs first began to show that he had a weight problem. Unable to diagnose him with anything, doctors simply advised Joyce to watch his diet. The concerned mother insists that Justin's diet is balanced and merely consists of one plate of meat and veggies. She also claims not to allow the boy to snack, removing chips and cookies from his diet, and keeps him physically active. In 2008, Joyce was reported to child protective services and threatened to have her son removed from her home if he didn't show signs of weight loss within 2 months.
2 Dzhambulat Khatokhov - 9 years old, 324 lbs
Known as the world's heaviest boy for years, Dzhambulat Khatokov weighed a mind boggling 324 lbs at just 9 years old. That's heavier than some professional NFL players. Reportedly having gained over half a pound every single week since his birth, Dzhambulat's body mass index is a whopping 70. At 4'3" and 324 lbs, Dzhambulat weighed as much as a baby elephant. In 2006 leading expert in obesity, Dr. Ian Campbell took a look at Dzhambulat's case observing him for a number of weeks and coming to this conclusion, "He's very willing but actually he's not very able. I find it quite distressing to see this seven year old boy who's so much larger than all his friends at school. He's not able to do the same things that they are doing, his movements aren't as sharp, he couldn't get down on his haunches, he couldn't move as fast and I never saw him break sweat as it was all very sedentary".
1 Jessica Leonard - 8 years old, 420 lbs
Jessica Leonard is known as the heaviest recorded child to ever live. At her highest, she weighed an unimaginable 420 lbs, when she was just 8 years old. At 12 months old, she already had a Body Mass Index of 56. A year later, she weighed in at 110 lbs and a year after that, at age 3, she ballooned to 170 lbs. By 4 years old, she appeared on The Maury Povich Show, weighing 200 lbs. The young girl reportedly took in tens of thousands of calories per day in order to grow at such an alarming rate. By the time she was 6 years old, Jessica could no longer walk, and resorted to waddling around on her behind, or had to be moved around in a wheelchair. At 8 years of age she was rushed to the hospital unable to breathe and in critical condition. The hospital visit ultimately saved her life and within 2 years, the 10 year old managed to lose 320 lbs without surgery, but was left with 20 lbs of excess skin. The former obese child reportedly takes medication to curb her appetite, and is kept on a strict low calorie diet.