HUFFINGTON POST
03/28/2011 08:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Lu Hao, 132-Pound Toddler In China, Gains Weight Inexplicably

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A toddler that weighs 132 pounds? It's true. Lu Hao, a 3-year-old boy from China, weighs five times the size of a normal child his age, Britain's The Sun reports.

Incidentally, Lu Hao was born underweight, at 5.7 pounds. And while doctors are baffled by the toddler's insatiable hunger and rapid weight gain, they suspect his low birthweight might have something to do with it.

Lu Hao's parents have attempted to curb their child's diet and encourage physical activity. But such attempts have been rebuked by the 3-year-old, who prefers to ride on his mother's motorcycle rather than walk to kindergarten and throws temper tantrums when his parents attempt to lighten his food intake.

Lu Hao's father, Lu Yuncheng, told The Sun that the toddler can eat three big bowls of rice at a sitting and "cries nonstop" if denied what he wants.

This hasn't stopped his parents from seeking further information about their son's inexplicable weight gain (in the past year Hao gained 22 pounds). According to ABC News, Hao's parents have taken him to specialists in China. Doctors suspected the child's weight gain might be caused by a hormone disorder, but tests revealed his hormones were normal, further deepening what some doctors believe to be a medical mystery.

For now, Lu Hao's parents continue to monitor their son's diet and hope that his hunger settles down.

While Lu Hao is an extreme case, many parents are faced with the obstacle of protecting their children from obesity. In the U.S., childhood obesity rates continue to rise -- more than tripling in the last 30 years, with an estimated 17 percent of children (ages 2 to 19) considered obese, according to the CDC.

A poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are the main culprits of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and have prompted a nationwide response in the form of "Let's Move," First Lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign.

UPDATE: HuffPost Reader Jean Bohince passes along this tip: "It sounds like the boy has Prader-Willi syndrome. If the parents realize the problem, then doctors can help them deal with it."

Prader-Willi syndrome is the result of a missing gene on part of chromosome 15. Children affected by the syndrome have an extreme craving for food. This results in quick and uncontrollable weight gain.

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