When Juanita Valentina Hernandez was born, she weighed a fairly normal 6 pounds. At 15 days old, the baby looked a little "chubby," according to her mom, but not enough to raise any red flags. (And anyway, don't many newborns have a few adorable rolls to spare?) But it didn't take long before Juanita's weight gain shot off the growth charts. Now, at 10 months old, the Colombian girl weighs a jaw-dropping 44 pounds (!), or about as much as the average kindergartner, reports Yahoo! Parenting.
Mom Sandra Franco says she has no idea what's behind the unusual jump in pounds and, until recently, didn't even realize her daughter was morbidly obese. She's now teamed up with doctors at the charity Gorditos de Corazon (translation: Chubby Hearts), and the little girl is undergoing treatment in Bogota to figure out the culprit for obesity. If the past is any indication—doctors there have successfully treated two other obese babies—she'll most likely follow a tailor-made diet over many months to slowly shed the extra weight.
But make no mistake: The team is officially on the clock. Juanita's weight needs to come off before more serious health complications, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or joint issues, set in. I'll be watching this story closely in the months to come, and keeping my fingers crossed that the treatment works and that Juanita is able to resume a normal, healthy life. In the meantime, if you're concerned about your kiddo's weight, talk to your pediatrician.
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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
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Image of Juanita Hernandez courtesy of the Gorditos de Corazon Facebook page.