Obese 9-Year-Old Returns Home After Losing 50 Pounds

05/14/2012 01:45 PM ET

A dangerously obese, Cleveland, Ohio 9-year-old boy who had been removed from his home and mother’s care after being discovered to be weighing over 200 pounds, returns home after shedding 50 pounds.

After being placed in foster care last fall, and then into the care of an uncle, the boy was put through an exercise and healthy eating program and was able to lose 50 pounds in four months. In March the mother was granted protective supervision of the boy and then on Thursday, she was granted full custody and a release from the protective supervision, though social workers still plan periodic visits.

Both the mother, who had lost custody when social workers said she was not doing enough to control her sons weight, and the boy has been offered nutritional and health counseling and a free membership to the local YMCA.

“That’s the tremendous thing,” said John Lawson, an attorney who was appointed by a judge to act as a guardian during the court proceedings. “Let’s hope we never have to go back to court with this child.”

A year before being removed from the home, social services tried to work with the family to get the boy, who at one time weighed as much as 218 pounds, to lose some weight before developing problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

According to governmental growth charts, a boy of 9-years of age should weigh an average of 60 pounds, the unnamed boy now weights 166 pounds.

Lawson explained that the boy’s uncle had taken him to the gym three nights a week and that he began playing basketball and was swimming, and despite changing school’s several times in the last few months is doing well.

“Hopefully, everything is on track,” Lawson said. “You’ve got to be in a regiment to keep your weight down.”


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