It’s becoming a normal part of life, in the Western world at least, obese children. According to Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, “The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity,” so it is no wonder we have become immune to it.
Who is responsible for this epidemic? The government, food industries or parents? Some are quick to put the blame on the mother. After all, it is her job to set a good example of what a healthy lifestyle looks like for her children. She should be educated when it comes to nutrition and encourage her family to have an active lifestyle.
Anyways, this just isn't the case. We live in a world based around doing what's convenient rather than what is best for us. Stopping by McDonald's for breakfast rather than taking 15 minutes to whip something up at home. Giving in when our kid has a tantrum because they want that candy bar they saw in the checkout line at the grocery store. Not taking the time to learn the basics of nutrition. Staying inside and letting the TV babysit your kids inside of taking them to the park.
Continuing to feed kids when you know they’ve had enough just to keep them happy. The easy route. We are all guilty of choosing what is convenient at one time or another. It isn't even necessarily always a bad thing. What's dangerous is when those convenient options become a lifestyle, putting us and our families on the path to obesity and other major health concerns.
Keep reading to discover the unbelievable stories behind the lives of kids who are too big and it's mom's fault.
15 Alana Thompson AKA Honey Boo Boo
Most of us enjoy cracking open an ice-cold Coca Cola or Pepsi on a hot summer’s day, but wouldn’t dream of letting our small children do the same. Other parents take a more laid-back approach, “everything in moderation.”
Whether it's regular, diet or a healthier version, most soda is loaded with sugar or alternative sweeteners that often turn out to be even worse than sugar.
In a study on obesity and sugar-sweetened beverages, it was concluded that the consumption of sugary beverages significantly increased the likelihood of childhood obesity. However, obesity isn’t the only health risk associated with soda. It’s addictive, has no nutritional value, harms the brain, weakens bones and destroys teeth.
While she first appeared on the TLC show, Toddlers and Tiaras, with the nickname Honey Boo Boo, Alana Thompson became known for something else, how she got all of her energy for the pageants she participated in. When the show aired, viewers were shocked at what her mother, June Shannon, was giving her then six-year-old daughter for fuel. Alana called the mixture that contained Mountain Dew and Red Bull her mother mixed for her Go-Go Juice. When confronted about the sugary drinks she was giving her daughter June defended her choice saying, "There are far worse things. I could be giving her alcohol."
While it isn’t the only poor choice this mother made for her daughter, it was one of the many that contributed to her unhealthy weight. It didn’t seem to be an issue for her mother though who said, "She’s got meat on her. She’s not skinny but, whether skinny or fat, I am still going to love my children regardless. I could care less if they get up to 1,000 pounds; I am still going to love them.”
14 Jessica Gaude
It was calculated that Jessica Gaude of Knoxville, Tennessee, consumed 10,000 calories a day at her worst. Her diet consisting of Coca-Cola, 15 hamburgers per day with fries and pounds and pounds of chocolate. Experts claimed her consumption of food in a single day was equal to what some children eat in half a year! She was the fattest child in the world, so big that she was unable to walk and had to roll around to get from one place to another.
When her mother was questioned she said when Jessica would not get the food and drinks she wanted, she would have fits, so eventually she gave her what she wanted. “She cried and so I gave her the bottle and she just wanted more and more. It was not enough for her and she was constantly hungry,” said Gaude’s mother.
While it isn’t the case for many children who struggle with obesity, Gaude’s story has a happy ending. She was eventually hospitalized in Virginia where she successfully lost over 300 pounds! While the young girl still has major health problems from being overweight for her first years of life, she is on the road to recovery and a brighter future. No thanks to her mother.
13 Dzhambik Khatokhov
Russian born Dzhambik Khatokhov, known as Jambik, weighed in at almost 325 pounds at just 11 years old, despite being born at a normal birth weight at just six pounds and six ounces. It is reported as the child grew in age, he also grew in weight. At just one he weighed more than 28 pounds. By age four, his weight was up to 81 pounds. When questioned about Jambik’s diet, his mother, Neyla, said it consisted of porridge and ice cream.
While doctors have confronted Jambik’s mother about her son's weight, she doesn't seem to realize there is a problem. “He is just growing: upwards and outwards. What can I do about it? This is who he is, this is how God created him,” Jambik's mother said.
Despite being morbidly obese, Jambik is active. He takes wrestling classes and swims. “I want to be a sportsman when I grow up. Or better, an Olympic champion. I like to be strong,” said Jambik when asked about his future.
12 Leon From BBC's Panorama
In the BBC program, Panorama, back in 2010, the world met five-year-old Leon, who weighed the same as the average 17-year-old boy. During an interview with BBC's film crew, Leon’s mother is convinced the boy’s obesity boils down to genetics. His mother believes as far as diet and exercise go, everything is on point. When Leon and his mother are followed around by cameras though, they discover a different story.
In one scene Leon’s mom pushes him home from school in a wheelchair, instead of making him walk, “He isn’t your average five-year-old, he gets tired,” she said when confronted. In another scene, Leon’s mom allows him to eat a cake explaining she wouldn’t usually allow this, but someone at his school had just celebrated a birthday, and she didn’t want him to feel excluded. Five minutes after the cake, Leon’s mom is offering more food, cereal with fruit. Not even two hours later, he is eating a hot dinner. The cake, cereal and fruit was only a snack she explains.
Despite being questioned by the BBC about what the cameras captured, Leon’s mom didn’t think she was doing anything wrong. " It's all good food," she said. A perfect example of a mother who is in denial about the underlying cause of her son's obesity, herself!
11 Daughter Of Linda From Leicestershire, UK
A piece published by the BBC on childhood obesity prompted many emails from readers about their own experiences with the issue. Linda from Leicestershire, UK shared the experience she has had with her ten-year-old daughter who is overweight, saying while she initially tried to help her daughter make healthy choices about food and drinks, it was too big of a battle.
In her letter to the BBC she said, “The article echoed many of the concerns I have had with my own daughter, who is almost 10. I have had weight problems all my life, mostly tied to comfort eating. I was determined to help her get a good start in life with healthy eating that was never encouraged by my parents. Over the years, as I gave her occasional treats or others gave them to her, she wanted and would pester and tantrum. Now she is older she gets pocket money and can visit the shops. I encourage her to save her money or to buy non-food items, but she often comes home with sweets. On occasion she has been banned from going to the shops and I have threatened numerous times to stop her pocket money altogether if she keeps buying sweets. Nothing seems to help. It seems like we fight about food almost every day and they are stressful, draining battles."
10 Tanisha From Jenny Jones
For many families going out to eat started out as a treat on the odd occasion, then they realized how much time and energy it saved, and it started to become a more regular occurrence. What many moms may not have put enough consideration into is that the disadvantages of eating fast food greatly outweigh its advantages. Frequently eating fast food can greatly increase your risk of obesity and cause liver damage and cardiovascular diseases, not to mention it poses many negative effects on the environment.
Tanisha first appeared on Jenny Jones. At just three years old, the little girl weighed 75 pounds. How did she end up at 75 pounds? Her mother let her eat whatever her heart desired, despite the affect it was having on her health. Tanisha's favorites, the mother told Jenny, included cheeseburgers, fried chicken, drumsticks and fries. All your typical fast foods.
Tanisha reappeared on TV a year later and her eating habits hadn't changed, but her weight had. She had gained a staggering 14 pounds. At just four years old, Tanisha now weighed 89 pounds!
9 Kelly From Experience Project
On Experience Project, personal stories about any life experience, a group of parents brag about having obese children and their obsession with feeding them.
One mom under the username, Fatmommy, wrote about her daughter Kelly saying, “Even though I am fat I set strict rules around the house. At dinner Kelly must finish at least 3 pizzas or, 5 burgers, or 2 steaks, or 6 bowls of Mac n cheese to be able to have her two whole cakes or 3 pints of ice cream or 10 Hershey bars. After that she must wash it down with at least 4 liters of cokes. Kelly loves tv too this rule is easy for her. Well she started watching tv at 1 week old. And the rule is she must watch at least 4 hours of tv a day.”
While some people praised this mom’s actions, others shamed user Fatmommy and rightfully so. One user said, "I seriously hope you are joking about this. If you aren't, you are the dumbest, most ignorant parent I've ever read. Please do your daughter a favor and stop this. You love her... stop killing her.”
8 Bobby From The Maurey Povich Show
Bobby gained his claim to fame on The Maury Povich Show. Bobby’s mother, Rebecca, wrote in with concerns about her sons rapid weight gain. At just three years old, he already weighed 130 pounds, more than the average teenager weighs. In her letter to Maury, the distraught mother describes an incident at one of her son’s doctor’s appointments in which her and her husband overheard the doctor talking to a colleague about how disgusting it is for a parent to let their child’s weight spiral out of control like Bobby’s had.
In footage taken by The Maury Povich Show, it becomes clear the unhealthy food Bobby eats, the quantity of it and his parents unable to tell him no is what’s causing his obesity. Throughout the day the little boy eats everything from large bowls of cereal to multiple pieces of peanut butter toast, chicken fingers and plates and plates of fries.
A year after the show aired in 1999, Maury checked in with the boy’s mother on how he was doing. Apparently, they had checked him into a weight loss clinic in California where he was starting to lose weight.
7 Suman Khatun From India
Suman Khatun is famous for being the largest known child in India. Her hard-working father makes no more than $15.00 per week farming. Much of her father's wages goes toward food for daughter Suman.
In an interview with Suman’s mother Belly Bibi she said, “When she is not fed she cries, shouts, screams and has even thrown rocks at us.” Belly admits she doesn’t like to see her daughter in such distress, so she continues to feed her. What was Suman eating at six years old that had her weighing in at over 200 pounds, five times what the average six year old weighs? It was reported that in one week the child would eat around 30 pounds of rice, 15 pounds of potatoes, 15 pounds of fish and over 180 bananas!
While Suman’s doctor, Subodh Bandyopadhyay, warned Suman’s parents of the dangers that lay ahead if they continue to feed their daughter, he said in an interview they didn’t seem to take the matter as seriously as they should.
6 Liz Thomson's Daughter From ITV's This Morning
According to the NHS, the factor that puts children at the greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents, with girls ten times more likely to be overweight if their mothers are obese. That's right, kids copy what they see.
In an interview on Britain's ITV channel's This Morning, mother Liz Thomson said her daughter weighed over 110 pounds at just nine years old. She blamed the government saying there was a lack of government funding when it came to helping her daughter lose weight. Morbidly obese herself, the mother said the only option her doctor gave her was to take her daughter to Slimming World when she was older. Many viewers strongly disagreed with Thomson's views on childhood obesity. One viewer said in regards to Thomson putting the blame on the government, " This woman on this morning is responsible for her child's weight whether she believes it or not," while another said, "Problem with half of the fat people these days- to many excuses for not been able to lose weight" No one can do it for you!!"
5 Mothers In Medicine's Niece
In one mommy blog, a writer talks about how her cousin has gotten into the bad habit of taking her daughter to McDonald’s for dinner every single night of the working week.
Writer of the Mothers in Medicine blog said, “She has a daughter who's almost ten years old, and she told me that since her husband gets home very late from work on weekdays, she's developed a new routine for the last year. Every single day, she takes her daughter to McDonald's for dinner. Monday through Friday, the girl is being nourished by fast food.”
The writer struggled with whether she should bring up the sensitive topic for the sake of her overweight cousin’s daughter or keep her mouth shut. While she was a big advocate of everyone to their own and not being judgmental of other parenting styles, she didn’t want her cousin’s daughter to suffer the consequences of her mom’s bad choices either.
4 Claire From Nottingham
In another letter sparked by BBC’s article on childhood obesity, one adult woman, who weighs almost 400 pounds, blamed it on the “clean your plate” rule her mother made for her as a child.
Claire from Nottingham, UK said, “I have seen mothers force the last bit of baby food out the jar down their baby so as not to "waste" it. My own mother put down huge portion sizes and made us carry on eating long after we were full. I was once punished severely by my grandfather for not eating the last morsel on my plate. I was dragged screaming across the room and locked into the garden room, denied any pudding and isolated from my family, I was three years old. This means I was taught to force down huge portion sizes and to carry on eating even when I was so full I felt sick. I have struggled all my life with this problem and I now at 43 I weigh 28 stone. There are times I wish I was dead."
3 Daniel From The Maury Povich Show
Daniel, nicknamed Sugar Boy, first appeared on Maury. At just two years old, he already weighed 83 pounds, more than double the size of an average two year old.
At her wit's end Daniel’s mother, Evelyn, wrote into the show. In an interview with Daniel’s mom she talks about the problems with having an 83-pound toddler. She can no longer pick her son up and when they are out people stare. At just two, Daniel was already experiencing health problems from his weight. His excess weight caused him trouble with his legs and he needed leg braces to walk properly.
In one clip his mom said, “Every visit to the doctor he gains more weight.” While Daniel’s mother is at a loss of why her son continues to gain weight, the cause is evident to viewers. In most clips taken of Daniel by Maury’s camera crew, he is eating sugary treats in large quantities. Similar to other cases we’ve seen, it is clear Daniel’s mom is in delusional about what her son actually eats on a daily basis.
2 Tanisha Mitchell From "Too Fat For 15: Fighting Back"
Appearing in “Too Fat for 15: Fighting Back,” Tanisha Mitchell was a staggering 510 pounds at her heaviest, after two years at special weight loss school, Wellspring Academy Trust, she had already lost 276 pounds.
In an interview Tanisha claimed her family brought a lot of fast food in the home. When asked if her mother was to blame for her weight, she said partly. She claimed prior to Wellspring Academy, she spent a lot of time in bed due to a medical condition. Little activity in combination with the unhealthy food her mother feed her led to her obesity. She said her parents didn’t know what they were doing. They needed to be educated on how to eat healthy.
While her weight loss journey started out at just 15, Tanisha is now in college and continues to lose weight. Her goal is to get down to a healthy 160 pounds.
1 Arya Permana From Indonesia
Morbidly-obese boy, Araya Permana, of West Java was reported to weigh 423 pounds at ten years old. That’s six times the size of other boys his age.
Araya’s mom, Rokayah Somantri, reported her son was a healthy weight when he was born weighing eight pounds. It wasn’t until around the boys eighth birthday he started to rapidly gain weight. At such a heavy weight, Araya leads a sedentary life at home, spending his days reading comics and playing video games.
"I wish he can go back to normal because it makes me sad," his mom said. When Araya’s diet was examined, it seemed his mother was feeding him five meals a day, consisting of at least two plates of food at a time. After being examined by doctors who determined there was no underlying medical cause of Araya’s weight gain, it is safe to say it is the large portions his mother feeds him that has caused Araya's obesity.