Giant Chinese 'Michelin baby' startles doctors: reports

Aug 24, 2010

Doctors in central China are puzzling over a 10-month-old baby boy who weighs 20 kilos (44 lbs) -- about as much as a normal child of six years -- but is otherwise healthy, state media reported.

The infant, whose name was not given, was brought to a children's hospital in the Hunan provincial capital of Changsha earlier this month with a fever, the News Service said.

Doctors were startled at the child's enormous size, which his parents attributed to him spending his days either breast-feeding or sleeping.

A photo posted on Hunan news website rednet.cn showed an obese child sitting in a crib and playing with a toy as he smiled happily at the camera.

The website described him as a "Michelin baby", after the familiar mascot of the Michelin tire company.

It said the child's cheeks resembled "two plump cuts of meat, like a mouth filled with two small balloons," while his arms and legs resembled "stacked hula hoops of fat".

Doctors told the China News Service they could find no medical reason for his extreme size.

But they said the child embodies the country's growing obesity problem, and warned parents to guard against excessive weight gain by their children, lest it lead to health problems.

Chinese waistlines are expanding rapidly as the nation develops, a problem blamed on richer diets and the increasingly sedentary lifestyles that come with growing affluence.

There are more than 60 million obese people in China, and another 200 million who are overweight, according to a Chinese health ministry statement last year that cited a 2004 nationwide survey.

Children are at special risk, according to previous reports that blame an education system in which students must spend long hours studying for high-stakes school exams, discouraging outdoor play.

Explore further: Man arrested in China for testicle chopping

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Parents blind to their children's weight

Feb 05, 2007

Researchers with Deakin's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research surveyed more than 1200 families to find out if parents had concerns about their children's weight and if they took any preventative action to ...

Identifying Risk for Obesity in Early Childhood

Sep 05, 2006

A new research study of children’s growth, published in the September issue of Pediatrics, can help parents and pediatricians determine the risk that a child will be overweight at age 12 by examining the child’s earlie ...

Germans getting fatter, statistics show

Jun 02, 2010

Germans are getting fatter, official figures showed on Wednesday, with 51 percent of adults in Europe's most populous country now classed as overweight.

Recommended for you

Face transplants change lives, identity

21 hours ago

Patients are prepared to take significant risks in order to be considered for a face transplant, says Dr David Koppel, director of the largest craniofacial unit in the UK and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor ...

British Lords hold ten-hour debate on assisted dying

Jul 19, 2014

Members of Britain's unelected House of Lords spent almost ten hours on Friday discussing whether to legalise assisted dying, in an often emotional debate putting the question back on the agenda, if not on the statute books.

User comments : 0