A mum has claimed she “didn’t realise” that her 18 stone son was obese until his hip collapsed to his weight.
In an upcoming Channel 4 show called 100 Kilo Kids: Obesity SOS, a mum named Sue reveals her horror at coming to the realisation that her 15-year-old son Harry was obese after he was rushed to the hospital for complex and painful surgery to address the complications of his 18st size.
In the documentary, we will Sue as she receives help for her son from specialist doctors at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children’s Obesity Clinic. She claims she “didn’t realise” the extent of obesity.
She tells the camera: “I didn’t realise it was as bad as it was.
“I suppose you see them every day and you don’t realise how much weight he’s put on.”
Harry believes that his weight has spiralled out of control due to the sporadic presence of his dad, as he now seeks comfort from food.
Once the operation for his knee is complete, doctors are shown warning him that if he doesn’t begin to start reducing his Body Mass Index (BMI) of 44, there is the likelihood that his other hip will collapse.
However, this does not appear to spur Harry on to try and shift the pounds – initially he loses four stone but then piles on another two.
In the programme, professor Julian Hamilton-Shield explains that many of the hospital’s unit junior patients are following a similar pattern, regardless of the fact they’re been supervised by the clinic – often, it’s the parents who are to blame for these diet habits.
He is shown saying: “We’re trying to work out what’s within the family that is leading to the excess weight.
“We don’t like it – nobody likes it – but we probe. And sometimes it comes out and sometimes it doesn’t.”
There is a similar case to Harry’s shown, which entails another teenage boy named Tommy, who was referred to the clinic in 2018 at the age of 12 due to his excessive weight.
Despite initially losing the weight, he then goes on to gain a whopping six stone in the space of five months. The programme was filmed last year, and by the times it came to an end he had reached 23st.
His mum Esther – who has three other children between the ages of eight and 18 – explains that she has always described herself as a “bigger mum”. She recalls how Tommy originally began to gain weight five years ago when he was diagnosed with glandular fever and then CFS/ME.
After the diagnosis, he began to spend more time in his bedroom in his bed. Due to the lack of exercise, he began to pile on the pounds and as he would sleep for such long periods, “he’d miss proper meal times and be grabbing and grazing”.
She claims that she has tried everything to help her son lose weight, but nothing has worked. She’s tried “homecooked healthy meals” but has now had to resort to help from his GP and the clinic.
However, when the unit doctors begin to investigate why Tommy suddenly put on another stone despite having made some progress with his weight, they discover that Esther has been secretly smuggling in extra food for him.
After being found out, she says: “As a typical day’s menu, he had a slice of toast for breakfast, a jacket potato with cheese and beans for lunch and the same for dinner with two pieces of fruit.
“It was going from one extreme to another and it’s not sustainable in the real world.”
The programme also goes on to tell the story of Lily, at the age of just five she weights 7st and her mum Lana is struggling to control her appetite.
The exasperated parent says: “I pretty much have to starve her to get her to lose any weight.
“Even after a meal she says she’s starving – she will pinch her belly and tell it to stop hurting.”
The mum says that her seven-year-old son Jayden is much slimmer than her daughter and doesn’t suffer from the same problems.
She claims she once found her daughter – who has been bullied for her weight and fears she’ll end up in a wheelchair – eating raw sausages from the freezer and even toilet paper.
When Lily is denied food, she has a furious fit of anger.
“It started from when she was tiny, eight weeks old. I noticed that no amount of milk would fill her up, she was never satisfied with what she was given,” explains Lana.
“She would wake often in the night screaming for food. At first, I just assumed she was a really hungry baby, so, of course, I just gave her what I thought she needed.”
Although she initially thought she was doing the right thing, her mum began to get concerned when she reached the age of three and she could no longer pick her up – and her appetite was only becoming stronger.
She said: “She would go through all the cupboards and the freezers to get anything, every sort of food she could get her hands on.
“It was the same at nursery. I would get calls from staff saying she was going into the kitchen trying to get food. I didn’t really understand it – why she was the way she was.”
After a visit to the GP, Lana is told that Lily would need to be referred to the clinic, where she was then put on a calorie-controlled diet.
Blood samples were taken that concluded she suffered from a rare genetic malfunction which meant that her body couldn’t process calories as efficiently as others – therefore her hunger pangs were the equivalent of someone who had not eaten for three days.
The programme takes a look at the clinic, which treats around 80 outpatients every week. This comes at the same time that it was revealed that obesity amongst primary school children is at an all-time high.
Meanwhile, a TV show on TLC called Hot & Heavy shows how fat fetishism is on the rise.