20kg eight-month-old put on urgent diet

Last updated 11:31 20/03/2014

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Eight-month-old baby Santiago Mendoza has been put on an emergency diet – because he already weighs 20 kilograms.

Santiago, thought to be Colombia's heaviest baby, weighs about as much as the average 6-year-old.

His mother, Eunice Fandino, said her own "ignorance" was to blame for his weight gain.

"He was born with an anxiety, so if he cried I just fed him," she said.

Santiago was flown to Bogota last weekend by volunteers from Gorditos de Corazon (the Chubby Hearts foundation) after his mother wrote to them asking for help.

He is now being assessed by medical specialists, the Daily Mail reported.

Salvador Palacio Gonzalez, director of the Chubby Hearts foundation, said doctors would try to reduce his weight before doing several operations.

"Likely, what he will need is a long-term treatment, education, healthy foods, and when he is older, physical activity," surgeon Cesar Ernesto Guevar told El Espectador.

"Otherwise, in the future he could suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and severe problems with his joints."

Fandino says she will follow any medical advice she is given for her son. She was reportedly "optimistic" about the assistance he had been offered.

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