LIFESTYLE

Obese Baby With Mystery Illness Weighs 20Kgs At Just 10 Months Old

14/01/2015 13:56 GMT | Updated 14/01/2015 13:59 GMT

At just ten months old, Juanita Valentina Hernandez weighs the same as an average five-year-old. And it poses a huge risk to her health.

The bubbly youngster weighed just six pounds when she was born, but began piling on weight weeks later - to the point where she is now morbidly obese.

Baby Juanita tips the scales at a massive 20kgs and is undergoing tests to determine the cause of her surprise weight-gain.

juanita valentina hernandez

Juanita's anxious mother, Sandra Franco, from Libano, Colombia, said she has no idea about the cause of her daughter’s worrying weight problem.

“When she was fifteen days old she was already looking chubby, because she was born very thin," said Franco.

"Since then she’s been gaining weight. Now she is ten months old and I have realised that she has morbid obesity.

“Until now I haven’t been able to treat her because I am unemployed and didn’t have the money."

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Last month Colombian charity Gorditos de Corazon - Chubby Hearts - brought Juanita to the capital, Bogota, where a team of specialists began treatment.

Charity founder Salvador Palacio Gonzalez has made it his mission to tackle a growing obesity problem, which increasingly is affecting children.

Juanita is the third baby he has seen in the last year who weighs more than 20kgs.

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Facts About Childhood Obesity

Last year the charity helped the families of obese babies Santiago Mendoza and Mayra Caicedo who had a combined weight of 41kgs.

Speaking previously about the epidemic in his country, Salvador said: "Thousands of children in Colombia - and millions around the world - suffer with obesity.

"From Colombia we have formed an international alliance to help people who are overweight."

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Despite being less than one year old, Juanita faces a bleak future if her rapid weight gain cannot be controlled.

According to the charity it is crucial to intervene before the age of one in order to prevent illnesses associated with obesity from becoming a critical health risk.

Sandra added: “To all mothers that have babies like this, please take care of our children if we don’t want them to get sick. Please don’t let them die from one of these diseases."

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