The guardians of a three-year-old Brazilian boy who
apparently weighs 154lb say they are desperate for him to stop gaining weight.
The boy, Misael, was born a healthy 6lb 6oz (2.9kg). He has
gained 6lb every month since then - causing him to get bigger in size and
leaving him struggling to walk.
His parents say, he now weighs 70kg (154lb). Health
experts now believe he may be suffering
from Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a chronic feeling of hunger that can
lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity.
The boy also suffers
from an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism- which can cause weight gain - and his parents say medication to help
treat this is not helping. "Even taking him to the doctor or leaving the house
with him is difficult," says Michael, father of the kid.
Transporting Misael -
who has behavioural problems - is so problematic that his family members, from
Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Espirito Santo, are forced to hire a private
"When we walk down
the street, people stop, want to take pictures with him. People say that they
never saw a boy in this size. They want to know how old he is, how much he
weighs," Michael adds.
Symptoms of PWS may
include constant craving for food,
which can easily lead to dangerous weight gain, poor physical growth and
PWS is a rare genetic disorder in which seven
genes on chromosome 15 (q 11-13) are deleted or unexpressed on the paternal
chromosome. The incidence of PWS is between 1 in 25,000 and 1 in 10,000 live
births. There are more than 400,000 people who live with PWS around the world.
The variety of symptoms can range from poor muscle tone
during infancy to behavioral problems in early childhood. While PWS itself is
not lethal, the compulsive eating and resulting weight gain can be.
Health experts say, there is no cure for PWS, so treatment
aims to manage the symptoms and associated problems.
For parents, the managing challenges include dealing with
their child's behavioural problems and excessive eating. Restricting a
child's diet is a particularly significant part of managing their condition.
During infancy, subjects should undergo therapies to improve muscle tone.