My Kid Can’t Stop Eating (Childhood Obesity Documentary) | Real Stories
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My Kid Can’t Stop Eating (Childhood Obesity Documentary) | Real Stories


*intro Music* 2000 families in Britain have a child born with a genetic disorder that makes them fixated by food. She thinks about food almost twenty-four seven. I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually dreams about it sometimes. There’s one occasion where she ate cat poo *inaudible* Rebecca’s life revolves around food. That’s her whole life. *inaudible* And it does cause a lot of tension. The urge to feed the hunger can drive people to desperate lengths When I was younger I used to rummage bins and when I got angry I used to kick the kitchen door down The whole front bit came out as you can see. It’s cracked in here What are you on about!? He has attacked me in the past You don’t know when hes going to flip so it’s like living with a wild animal If I eat more and more I will just… die Weight gain can be rapid. Leading to obesity, disease and early death It’s like an obsession that takes her over. I eat chocolates and biscuits and stuff She is not capable of controlling her own weight I said it was like a prison cell and it is like a prison cell If she had complete freedom… she would eat herself to death *Crying* Wake up, its time to get out of bed darling. You alright? I knew something was wrong when I was pregnant She shouldve been… moving inside of me which she wasn’t It was just the worst case scenario Rebecca Medley is eleven years old and already weighs eleven stone (154 lbs) She was born with a genetic disorder called Prader–Willi syndrome or PWS They’re classed as mentally retarded. They’ll get to big sizes and die very early because of heart problems. PWS is caused by deletion or damage to chromosome 15. The effects are physical, mental, emotional and incurable. I said, we might as well just kill her now then. There’s no point in her going on Children with PWS soon develop a powerful obsession with food The eating must have come in when she was about seven or eight. She used to steal fruit from the fruit bowl, other people’s food off their plates if they weren’t watching. Uh, she would go down the bins Rebecca would eat almost anything I remember the day that she ate the cat poo and I had to wash her mouth out. I mean it was nothing to her.. But the taste must’ve been vile Some families resort to locking up food cupboards Rebecca’s house has an alarm in the kitchen. So, if Rebecca comes this far the alarm will pick her up and the alarm will go off Despite all this, Rebecca is getting bigger and her problems look set to multiply They don’t make school uniforms in Rebecca’s size. Do they? So one of Anna’s relatives has made us some clothes Are you gonna go down and do your lunch box and Daddy will check it in a minute? Rebecca’s brain never signals when shes full up. So she’s always hungry Rebecca thinks about food, I think, every minute of our life. And it’s food that’s often the cause of her temper tantrums Mummy, they’re not Chloe’s! You have to share them, Bec. When Rebecca goes into one of her tantrums it can be absolutely over nothing or it could be over something really important. Rebecca’s lunch box is checked every day to make sure she’s not sneaked in something naughty But this morning she’s more interested in the cat food What are you doing with that cat food? Just looking at it. I’ve got to sort all this out – What flavour is it? I don’t know. I mean, I’m not about to try it to find out, Becksy. I eat cat food. Do you? I know you’ve tried the dry food. A bit crunchy, innit? When’s that then? Before I go to bed. I don’t believe you. What does it taste like? Meat. It’s not just food – PWS causes a wide range of learning disabilities So Rebecca gets special needs support at her local primary school. I do worry sometimes about when Rebecca goes to school about what sort of a day she’s gonna have Whether she’s gonna be happy How many boys are gonna pick on her today Prader–Willi syndrome is caused by a damaged chromosome, but it affects the whole of Rebecca’s body. It’s not just the case of the eating, which is the main issue, where the brain doesn’t tell the stomach it’s full up. It’s her sexual development, it’s her mental development, it’s her social development. It’s everything About 2000 people in Britain have PWS. There is no cure but, with careful management can it be controlled? At 18 stone (252 lbs) Katie Williams has fought the disorder for all of her 23 years When she was born we were told she’d be dead by the time she was in her late teens or early twenties She would’ve over eaten herself to death She was slim… till she left school and then college was bad and then since she’s finished college it’s disastrous It’s a cruel twist of PWS that Katie needs only half of the calories needed by the average women. This is because her poor muscle tone doesn’t burn up calories as fast Loads of things under 300 calories. Katie’s daily limit is just 900 calories She loves biscuits she’s never allowed to have them. She never has chips, or burgers, or fried things, or roast potatoes… It’s quite difficult when you think of how they’re all pleasures for the rest of us. Katie lives above the pub run by her divorced dad. She is relatively independent – much more so than many people with Prader-Willi Syndrome. But her freedom comes at a price: Not only does dad count her calories. He also counts her cash. Generally speaking if she wants something, I give her money for it. But I like to see receipts when she comes back Got some change for me? Yes. Now I partly live independently, cooking my own meals and I choose what I want to eat Katie keeps hunger pangs at bay with low calorie lunches and heaps of vegetables for her evening meal Katie believes she can live independently with PWS Will Katie ever realise her dream? And just why, despite her dad’s best efforts, is she piling on the pounds? She won’t admit this: if she had complete freedom, she would eat herself to death Its’ not just her size that makes life difficult for 11 year old Rebecca Medley. PWS gives her weak muscles and a lack of coordination. This makes even the simplest physical activity like getting up off the floor an ordeal Like a big beached whale is my Becky. She can’t just get up like you or I would do. She would have to roll over and go on her knees probably, and climb up something. She couldn’t do it quickly Suppose if she was sat at dinner she might get up a bit quicker, But no, she does everything in slow motion. Rebecca is never out of hospital with her weight and growth-related problems. I think where her spine has begone to curve she has been getting a lot of pain so I think maybe she’s looking into where there was a problem with her spine Put this ear here. Put this ear here Does that hurt? No Does that hurt? no Does that hurt? yeah. It does? yeah. I’ve seen enough. When people look at Rebecca now they just assume she’s just a very overweight eleven year old They wouldn’t say “That child’s got PWS” Even in hospital, staff can misjudge the impact of a treat. Lady: I might be able to find you a sweeties. Would you like a couple? Mom: No, just the one!
Lady: Oh, Just the one? Lady: It is nearly Christmas mom
Mom: No, just the one! Lady: Would you be aloud to take a couple?
Mom: No, thank you, Just the one.
Lady: Oh, dear. If you’re given more than one at a time next time she goes back she’d want one or more. So, I think one was enough. Wasn’t it? It’s 6:30 in the morning in Bristol. Time for 23-year old Katie Williams to get up for work She wears an oxygen mask because her weight is beginning to cause her breathing difficulties Katie’s breakfast just consists of a small sachet of flavoured porridge, made with water. That’s 125 calories, but before she can eat it, she is weighed by her dad. Katie has put on three stone in ten months. That’s 116.8 She now weighs over 18 stone. (252 lbs) She’s clearly overweight, and I do weigh her every day. So I can tell within a day or two, whether she’s been cheating or not. I use the word “cheating”. She uses the word “nibbling”. Because that’s a better self-image, I think. Tony gives Katie £1 a day. It’s meant to buy a cup of tea on her way to work. Can she be trusted? This is a shop I normally go to on the way to and from work. The danger for Katie is that just one packet of biscuits can easily exceed her daily limit of 900 calories. I’d buy a box of those, and eat the whole box. Katie resists the temptation. But it’s only minutes since breakfast and she’s already feeling the hunger. It’s that sort of feeling for hunger. Katie travels to work prepared. I normally bring an apple with me or some veg, and I eat that. She couldn’t survive the two bus journeys to work without her precious tea money. Every day is a struggle, but Katie believes she can beat PWS with her own willpower. Many people like us are in homes with the cupboards locked and no freedom. I think people should have the opportunity to learn to cope with not nibbling food, or anything like that. But can Katie herself cope without nibbling? Working helps. Katie is one of the few people with PWS to have a full-time job. She is a cleaner in a special needs school. The only problems I have could be walking up stairs. You get out of breath when you get up to the top. Lot of stairs! If you do a lot of work, like cleaning the rooms and stuff, I would have to sit down. My legs get achy. It’s hard to resist the lure of the staff canteen. Temptations here is biscuits and toast. Katie can’t resist; her low calorie lunch is supplemented by a wafer biscuit. It’s cheating like this that makes her weight creep up, and alerts her dad to take action. Well, I don’t search that often. It’s only when her weight’s going up, and she doesn’t like it. Fruit Pastilles. At least it’s not chocolate. But that’s chocolate. That’s a packet of Rolos, so that’s not good. I don’t think Katie’s ever going to be able to control her weight on her own without help. If she had access to money, she’d be dead within a few years. If Katie finds it so hard to lose weight when so much of her life is controlled, what hope is there for someone with PWS with no control at all? 22-year-old Sachin Vyas has tried and failed to live independently with PWS. He has diabetes and high blood pressure, brought on by obesity. He has piled on 11 stone (154 pounds) in 12 months and now tips the scales at 22 stone (308 pounds). To live with a person with PWS whom we cannot control, it’s basically like living like a slave. At home, you could always coax him, or appease him and deal with him. But when they’re outside, it is beyond your control. Thanks to disability benefits, Sachin gets over £80 a week to spend on what he likes. I like to buy sweets, chocolates, crisps, biscuits, alcohol, sweet drinks… Sachin’s sixth form college are doing what they can to stop him eating himself to an early death. No, you’re not allowed to drink that. You know that. He’s the devil! I have been told to just watch because he’s not supposed to have sugary drinks, is he? And chocolate, of all things, and he loves his chocolate and sweets. I was under the impression that there was control in terms of him maybe not having any money. But then, I was made aware that he did have money. So he was going in and buying as much as he wanted. So you’ve had a baked potato… Sachin was brought up as a vegetarian, but PWS has changed all that. What pasta is it? Chicken? I thought you were a vegetarian. What’s happened? No I’m not a vegetarian, mate. Why don’t you leave your Crunchy Crunch till later, because that’ll give you a snack. Although the school are trying their level best to support him and coach him, I think it’s going to be very difficult, because Sachin’s too good with money. Back home, Sachin’s father Kishor tries to keep food out of reach. Recently this door was pushed in Because it leads to the kitchen. The whole front bit came out as you can see from one side and that’s opened up the whole thing. These big panes of glass have been broken. Because of his size and that, I’m sometimes scared to be on my own in the house because he has attacked me in the past. The whole family have changed their food habits for Sachin’s benefit. We have reduced a lot of things with sugar in the house. Basically, there’s nil at times. Everybody’s food has basically changed. Everyone’s food except Sachin’s, who raids his own private hoard of snacks. Ginger snaps, ice cream wafers, He’d bring loads and loads of food, which is junk food. Cans of soup… I’m not getting junk food, you know. Beer… As he eats, he’s getting nearer to death and that is the reality of this syndrome. Even Sachin is worried about the consequences to his health. I worry about my weight. I want to be normal but I can’t be normal, because it’s a genetic condition. If I eat more and more, I’ll just…die. So desperate is Sachin, that he’s planning to go to India to meet his spiritual healer. Rebecca’s fate is in the hands of the local health authority. She’s going to a hospital appointment, but her dad’s about to make a big mistake… Daddy’s going the long way. Daddy! Why d’you go the long way? Like many with PWS, Rebecca thinks in a rigid way, and she can’t cope with changes to routine. Daddy! Daddy, I’m gonna be late! He can’t turn round now, can he? He should’ve done that! No you made him do that! Mum: Don’t kick me! There’s only one thing on Rebecca’s mind. What’s for dinner tonight, Mummy? I got you a special chicken chow mein. All for me? All for you, special. Is it, Mummy? Yes. But what’s in it? Rat’s poison. No! What’s in it!?!? Chicken! And what? Noodles and vegetables. Chinese. Rebecca’s social skills are affected by her condition, and her relationship with her younger sisters is getting more difficult. Technically, Rebecca is the oldest so she’s the big sister But mentally, I suspect it’s probably Chloe. Chloe just loves winding her up. She can just snap and that’s it – she don’t want no one near her. “Get out of my bedroom. Don’t touch my toys.” So Chloe and Katie tend to play together whereas Rebecca plays on her own. She loves her jigsaws, our Rebecca. We’ve got hundreds in the wardrobe. And she’s not very good at keeping the pieces all in one box. The Hulk is probably her best friend. Katie Williams overcame years of isolation to succeed at college. If only she could control her weight. But not all her dreams are possible. I don’t mind if I have a child disabled, as long as I have a child of my own. The only thing I want in life is children. I always told her, right from a small child, that she wouldn’t be able to have children, because they didn’t want it to come as a shock in adulthood. When I see Katie struggle, it’s heartbreaking. I can’t get up! She has an awful lot of weight to be carrying, and the body just can’t cope with it. Katie really did very well at college, and achieved so much in so many other ways and through her own very hard work, and willingness, and cooperation and so on, but in every other way she could be totally independent, apart from controlling her weight.

100 Comments

  • jozzerful2

    Katie is an inspiration even to spite or little slips ! when compared to the young Indian boy, the whole thing is very soul destroying even if they eat a proper diet they will still gain weight

  • supersigma

    I know a family whoโ€™s son has this disorder and they donโ€™t celebrate certain holidays like Thanksgiving because they donโ€™t want him to associate food with anything other than the fact that itโ€™s needed to give energy. they sit together for every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) donโ€™t allow snacks, and donโ€™t allow more than the recommended serving size. surprisingly, he does really well and heโ€™s able to live an otherwise normal, healthy life.

  • Linda Thrall

    I'VE SEEN THIS DOCUMENTARY ON PRADER WILLIE SYNDROME THESE FOLKS CAN'T CONTROL THEIR URGE TO EAT ALL THE TIME. PWS CLIENTS SHOULD BE PROVIDED WRAPAROUND SERVICES WHICH WOULD HELP A GREAT DEAL. THE MAN WHO FRIGHTENS HIS PARENTS WHERE THEY FEAR FOR THEIR SAFETY. THE SON SHOULD BE PLACED WITH OTHER PWS CLIENTS SO THEY CAN WORK TOGETHER.

  • Jo Anna Kendall

    Just because Katie was born with a disability she has long since taught herself to use that as an excuse to over eat. She's very spoiled and needs to learn to listen to her parents and not try to have her own way about everything.

  • Evolutionary Advantage

    Just being hungry can be uncomfortable, but imagine feeling constantly โ€œstarvingโ€ and nothing eases that feeling? It would be like feeling extremely thirsty all the time and no amount of water can help. Awful.

  • ADS W

    No words can relay my point on this …some things just occur because of pure mathematics and the total sum of what makes it happen

  • Se7enthson

    Hopefully she can overcome her issues. its ridiculous the lady at the hospital thats supposed to understand about her issues is trying to give her multiple pieces of candy, they should be trying to help not making things worse. Also I feel dumb that it took me a few min to remember ppl in the UK call cookies biscuits lol I'm sitting here visualizing her eating a pack of pilsbury rolls lol. I give her mad props for being able to hold a job while disabled like that, I've been sick all my life, I've had 3 kidney transplants and a liver transplant which in turn caused a bad bone disease which makes it tough to stand for long periods of time or walk far and I also have little to no immune system bc of the anti-rejection meds to keep the organs. I've tried working 4 times since the surgery and developed Pnumonia 4 times so far, oh well It's still a blessing that I've made it this far so I'm content. Sorry for the random tangent lol. Bless the ppl that work in that residence, jesus I would lose my mind listening to them all argue like that for hours.

  • Billows Blaze

    Rebeccaโ€™s mom is awful. โ€œWe should just kill her nowโ€ plus sheโ€™s heavier than her daughter so sheโ€™s one to talk. She needs to deal with her own food issues too and set an example for her kid

  • Hey yo Iโ€™m Isla

    Why would the nurse offer Rebeca sweets? And bacically force her to have more? Also I think Katie will achieve her dreams and I hope Sanchi and Rebeca will reach theirs! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • youreallbrainwashed

    So . It's kind of weird to eat childhood obesity documentaries.. but then I thought about it, and realize it's strange to eat any audio video films, let alone childhood obesity films.

  • Sheilaโ€™s Beauty/ Hair/ Nails/ Fashion

    But sheโ€™s only on 900 calories. Heโ€™s very strict but I understand. Sheโ€™s great though, having a job

  • My Room

    Rebeccaโ€™s folks are killing her by giving her all that fattening garbage to eat. They are not the brightest tools in the shed. Healthy eating isnโ€™t rocket science. Itโ€™s pointless trying to stop Sachin from eating himself to death, he just continues to shovel the food in.

  • JugheadJones Riverdale

    My cousin has this. Heโ€™s more slower than what I see here. But he has lost lots of weight. His mom is dedicated to him and makes sure the food is locked out and whatnot. He does do a lot of things on his own. But sometimes you have to stay on his case. He does have a nurse that comes in. He does have fits as well over food but lately he hasnโ€™t. When heโ€™s good all week his nurse takes takes him out on Friday and they go have fun. He was supposed to be dead years ago (according to dr) but heโ€™s now 40

    He has eaten out the trash before. He has snuck food. And you can not argue with him because he HAS to be right lol. But all in all heโ€™s a sweetheart and would give you the shirt off his back. There are times he has even came to my house randomly (I live down the road) and bring me โ€œgiftsโ€ as he would call it. Like action figures and what not. Iโ€™m the only one that can actually put up with his rambling other than his mom and nurse.

  • โ€ขGalaxy Chanโ€ข

    The thing I donโ€™t like about the first family is that they are keeping a cat in the house, thatโ€™s even more dangerous for Rebecca..

  • lexi vigil

    I know they cant help it but god they all discust me if that was my kid id portion and control the food and not let them have anything else for a healthy weight idgaf how much they flip out and cry

  • MaxTheAnimator NAUTTP VGCP NAVGCP

    Well i do not eat that much. Im not obese. But i dont eat anything so. Yeah idk if i have prouder willy i hope not. I like eating sweets a lot tho

  • TorgieBride85

    I really don't take any pleasure in saying this, but I don't think Katie will have children that are her own. ๐Ÿ™

    My judgement has absolutely NOTHING to do with her outward appearance. It's her diet requirements that I think will stop her. If she can only healthfully tolerate 900 calories a day, how will her body ever be able to cope with developing a whole other human? The embryo/fetus would be badly damaged or have a heavy chance of miscarriage or a number or other things. You really HAVE to eat more when you're pregnant because the baby needs to eat too, and if you don't compensate the baby can take away YOUR nutrients and just start a whole other load of problems.

    I could be wrong, I'm not a doctor. I just don't see Katie being physically able to produce children. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  • Marla sue

    So, if the kids cant stop eating because of PWS, why have all that trash food in the house? (Rebecca's family.) Literally trash food. Potato chips, sugar cereal, etc. Jesus if they cant control themselves, as a parent you can at least control what food is in the house.

  • Jessica Bittle

    I feel extra bad for Rebecca, it seems like her sister (I guess to be expected) and her mom set her off on purpose. Like when they were going to the doctor appt and her dad went a different way. Rebecca wouldnโ€™t have noticed but her mom purposely told her that โ€œdaddy went the wrong wayโ€. She wouldnโ€™t have noticed it on her own. Then her mom got mad at her when Rebecca flipped out. You can tell her mom really has issues still. When she โ€œjokedโ€ about saying โ€œwell you might as well kill her off now thenโ€. What parent says that? She tried to play it off, but deep down she really felt it. She has a lot of resentment built up towards her and it comes out in a lot of passive aggressive statements. It was so sad to watch.

  • Annissa

    Rebecca is a brat! & Katie is only calm when she gets what she wants. She was having a tantrum around all those other ppl who have the same disability. They all 3 need discipline ๐Ÿ˜ค

  • Simantini Sinha

    Being VEGAN helps in weight loss, accelerates metabolism. It makes a person compassionate, animal lover, nature love, environmentalist

  • Dan Contreras

    Why don't they put these kids in the wild and let them fend for themselves? If they did this supervised — they will learn their lesson their own. They need to experience the reality of hunting for your own food. -dc

  • Oppressed Teens

    I think a lot of people are finding it hard to understand that these people have a GENETIC DISORDER they can't just cope with it easily. I actually had to do a genetic science project and I choose this one and I actually learned a lot but that doesn't matter right now sorry but any way if any of you watched the beginning you'd see that these people can't help how they react when it comes to food. That doesn't mean they are ungrateful and that doesn't mean they are spoiled they just can't help it.

  • Bella Hatch

    I think it's really selfish of Rebecca's mother wanting her to go to a mainstream secondary school. Rebecca clearly doesn't have the emotional or mental capacity for such an establishment, and it would be harrowing and traumatic for her, not to mention a massive strain on teaching staff who aren't trained to handle her, and cruel to the other students whose educations will be impacted by her monopolising the teachers' time. I do understand her wanting her daughter to have a normal life, but I can't help but see it as denial on her behalf. She needs to accept that her daughter needs specialised help and care, and understand that she won't get that in a normal everyday life

  • Jane Adelaide Lennox

    โ€œSachin bought ยฃ60 worth of food. But where is he going to put it all?โ€

    I think we all know where heโ€™s going to put it.

  • Amanda Mullins

    Everyone going on and on about willpower and looking down their noses at Katie…what would YOU all do if you had this syndrome? It's all right for you, because you don't. If you did I'm sure you would struggle too. Stop judging.

  • Sarah Smith

    I dint like the way the manager of haydock house spoke to Katie. I get tough love and how it will help. Haydock house does work. but Katie is so sweet. Not everyone is one size fits all. People need different reactions and ways to help people

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