Lu Hao, who is nearly 4 years old, eats a roast chicken wing at a market in Foshan, Guangdong province. The Sun newspaper reported he is getting so big that his parents are frightened of him — and they claim the youngster throws vicious tantrums if they try to stop him from gorging on huge plates of ribs and rice. They claim that although they try to cut his meals, he has gained 21 pounds in the last year.
Lu Hao walks with his parents on a street in Foshan, Guangdong province. Ironically, the toddler was underweight when he was born, weighing in at 5.7 pounds, but he started putting on weight at 3 months old and has not stopped.
Dr. Ari Brown, a Texas-based pediatrician and author of the "Expecting 411" book series, told FoxNews.com that Lu Hao’s below-average birth weight may have contributed to his current weight.
“Babies who gain excessive weight in infancy are at risk for obesity later in life. That sometimes occurs when a baby starts out smaller than average and rapidly gains more weight beyond what doctors would expect for ‘catch-up growth,’” Brown said.
Lu Hao kicks a ball at a basketball court in Foshan, Guangdong province March 28, 2011. Lu, who is 3-feet, 6-inches tall and weighs 132 pounds, put on weight dramatically since his appetite grew when he was 3 months old.
Lu Hao stands up from his mother's lap outside his house.
"We have to let him be, as if we don't feed him, he will cry nonstop," his mother Chen Huan said.
March 29: The toddler takes a nap at a child care center in Foshan, Guangdong province. Last year, his worried parents took him to see specialists at the Guangdong Children's Hospital, where doctors thought his weight gain could be due to a tumor or hormone disorder.
“We took him to three hospitals and one said he had a tumor in his head, while the other two said there was no tumor in his head,” his father Lu Yuncheng told the Daily Mail. “Doctors said his hormones are at a normal level. It’s hard to know why he could be so big.”
Brown said that parents are the ones who need to control what and how much a child eats.
“They have to set healthy limits on behaviors—and those are not always popular with the child.As a parent, you are not your child’s friend. You are their confidant, their advocate and their advisor. You still love your child, and your child will still love you, even when you set healthy limits on behaviors,” she said.
Lu Hoa’s parents said their biggest hope is that he becomes slim one day.
“We now worry most about his health,” his mom said. “As if he continues to grow at this rate, his heart could fail.”
"His appetite is so good that for a meal he can eat three big bowls of rice, even larger than I and his mother," his father Lu Yuncheng, who struggles to pick him up, said.
“Your average preschooler should eat about half of an adult serving size, not three times an adult portion,” Brown said about what she calls an extreme example of the results of excessive calorie intake and inactivity.
Lu Hao is just 3 years old — but the toddler from China already weighs more than most teenagers. Here's a peek into his daily life