A five-year-old girl was taken into child protective custody last year when it was found that she weighed more than 145 pounds, making the child one of the most obese ever recorded in the the country.
While child-protection workers won’t reveal personal details about the girl or her family — or how she got so fat that she needed to be taken out of her home — they say that more than a year after she was taken into state care, the girl has lost almost 30 pounds.
She’s on the right track, but her last reported weight of about 110 pounds is still way too heavy.
An average girl five years in age should weigh a little more than 40 pounds.
The girl resides in Newport, Wales. Newport’s Cabinet Member for Social Care and Well Being, Paul Cockeram, called the case “a sign of the times.”
“Children aren’t learning to cook,” he said. “It’s all take-aways and chicken nuggets. Children today like to eat rubbish.”
But with no details on the case made public, it is impossible to know whether the girl grew to be obese simply by being overfed or whether she suffers from some kind of disease that causes uncontrolled weight gain, or a combination of both.
Dr Mair Parry, of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, said that the child has a condition that leads to weight gain, without specifying what that condition might be.
Health officials are certain of one thing. The girl should have been treated earlier.
“Since that child was one-year-old she would have been putting on weight,” said Welsh child health advocate Tam Fry. “Year after year after year. She must have been visible at nursery. Who didn't raise their hand and say, ‘Look, something is going tragically wrong here?’”
The rate of childhood obesity in Wales is the highest in the U.K., with more than one of every three children under 16 there classified as overweight.
The case of the 145-pound five-year-old was first discovered by the Sunday Times of London.