A charity has reportedly “rescued” an obese baby in Colombia from his indulgent mother.
Eight-month-old Santiago Mendoza weighs 19.7kg – about as much as an average six-year-old – and his mother Eunice Fandino admits his unhealthy weight is due to her own “ignorance”.
“(Santiago) was born with an anxiety, so when he cried I fed him,” Ms Fandino said.
She approached local charity, The Chubby Hearts Foundation (Gorditos de Corazon), for help because her son’s weight had left her virtually housebound.
Medellin-based Chubby Hearts, which provides services for severely overweight people, has now hospitalised the boy.
Chubby Hearts director Salvador Palacio González told local newspaper El Spectator that the child would be evaluated by specialists at Bogota’s Colina Clinic.
“He is a compulsive eater,” González said.
He said the little boy’s weight would be brought down before he has a series of operations.
Obesity specialist and surgeon Cesar Guevara observed that the baby was so big that “(t)hree normal-sized Santiagos would fit in him.”
“What he will need is a long-term treatment, education, healthy food, and when he is older physical activity,” Guevara said.
‘Otherwise, in the future, he could suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and severe problems with his joints.”
Santiago’s weight also hinders his development by making it difficult for him to crawl and roll over, and he’s susceptible to fungal infections in his fatty skin folds.
Ms Fandino says she is ‘optimistic’ about the help being offered to her little boy, who is thought to be the heaviest baby in the South American country. She has also undertaken to follow whatever advice the doctors give her on how to keep her son healthy once he’s returned home.
Fortunately, doctors say that that now he’s getting treated, the little boy could reach a normal weight in less than a year.
What was your reaction to the story? Do you feel sorry for Santiago’s mother, or outraged that she took so long to seek help?