Child obesity has become a major concern in Australia, as health officials are calling for mandatory weigh-ins amid reports that a 9-year-old boy tipped the scales at a whopping 392 pounds (178 kilograms), or more than twice as large as the average adult male in most parts of the world.
According to a report from News.com.au, the “shocking” figures were reported by the endocrinology department of Queensland’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, which mentioned the case of the aforementioned boy while holding a presentation about type II diabetes. When the unnamed child was 6-years-old, he reportedly weighed in at around 220 pounds (100 kilograms) and had a body mass index of 50, which is slightly higher than the minimum BMI of 40 for one to be considered morbidly obese.
In the three years since then, the child reportedly came close to doubling his weight, as he now weighs 392 pounds, possibly making him one of the fattest children in the world, assuming the figures are accurate. While it is unknown how the boy had gotten to be so heavy, with unhealthy diets being just one of the many reasons behind cases of childhood obesity, News.com.au said that his case marked a clear example of how the condition is becoming more pronounced in young Australians.
At the present, Australia is ranked sixth in the world in terms of total overweight population, with approximately one-fourth of the country’s children aged five to 17-years-old considered to be obese. Other countries, such as the United States, have been reported in recent years to have a rising rate of overweight or obese individuals regardless of age or gender, or, as illustrated in a 2016 report from ABC News, a higher average weight.
Even then, the 9-year-old Australian boy’s case was considered troubling enough for officials at the country’s Global Obesity Centre to propose mandatory weigh-ins and BMI measurements every two years for children in primary school. This move is reportedly being considered by Australia’s Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, who said in a statement that an “early connection to sport” could be a useful tool in helping curb childhood obesity in the country.
Although the 9-year-old child’s reported weight of 392 pounds was described as shocking, there have been young children who reportedly registered even heavier weights in recent years. The Daily Mail wrote in 2017 that an Indonesian boy named Arya Permana, then 11-years-old, underwent life-saving surgery and lost about 70 pounds in a month after weighing in at approximately 420 pounds, or 190 kilograms.