Weightloss Kids

Reporter: Natalie Bonjolo

Cassey says “I didn't look that nice cause I had fat all over my face and my hands and my legs” Nathan says “dinner time would be pork chops. BIG pork chops, Im talking three or four of em” by the time he turned 17, Nathan Muia was so heavy, he had to buy clothes specially made for big 'blokes', “that was embarressing as a 17 year old to rock up there and go...oh no, doesn't fit”

As a little kid, Nathan was always chubby, but it wasn't until his teens, he piled on the kilos. by 17...he'd hit a whopping 173 kilos, “my self esteem none. I just could never talk to people” Despite being embarressed by his size, Nathan couldn't control his eating, binging on junk food all day long, “choc milk, chocolate bar, sausage roll anything really, just used to eat what I felt like really yeah” and that, was just breakfast. Incredibly Nathan's not alone in his teenage battle of the bulge. The number of Australian kids who are morbidly obese is so high, experts call it, an epidemic.

Cassey says “I was weighting at least 55 kg's yeah” by the time Cassey Bowyer turned ten, she was heavier than her Mum, compared to her classmates, she felt massive” “They were like these little tiny things and I was a huge blob” while her friends were outside playing, Cassey was hanging around the pantry. “I would eat things but I would eat so much, that's what made me big, my Mum and Dad would have 2 biscuits I would go to the tin and have five or six“

“It is a very serious disease and it should start from a young age to control it” Perth Doctor, Hendrick Rensburg's been specialising in nutrition and diet for twenty years. but it's his success with young overweight patients, which is changing little lives. “The only way to help people like Nathan and Cassey is in a therapuetic intervention like this” Dr Rensburg started Nathan and Cassey on a strict diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean meat, but it's his educational program which makes the difference. “During the process they learn whats good for them, and they learn whats bad for them and once they go on maintenance they have a very good understanding and feeling what to eat and not to eat”

Nathan says “pretty much he said, it's gonna kill ya” A big shock for a seventeen year old, but Nathan says it gave him the jolt he needed. Since starting Dr Rensburg's program, he's lost a massive 75 kilos that's almost half his size, equal to the body weight of a fully grown man. “Itscared me out of it really, even what I was eating, took a step back and thought whoa dont wanna be like that”

Cassey says “I would have to go every week, so he would say...see you lighter” twelve kilos lighter to be precise. Cassey lost the weight within three months and she's kept it off. “It felt really good just like taking off old clothes and getting rid of them” Sandy says “that was one of the things which really pushed her to want to actually lose the weight” Mum Sandy says the crunch came when Cassey had to wear size 10 'ladies' jeans. “Going into bigger sizes than myself and her older sister for her that was embarrassing” Being able to buy the same clothes as his mates has also been a big motivation for Nathan, since dropping eight whole sizes, Nathan has no trouble finding stuff to fit.

“When you go to the shop and you look and you see a medium and you know it will fit you how does that feel? that feels great, I just grab it take it to the counter and pay for it” but the biggest reward has been at work, where nathan's started an apprenticeship, now he can fit into the safety suit. “I'll go past a car window at work and whoa...that's me and just smile and grin and chuckle”

Since shedding the kilo's, Nathan and Cassey can finally enjoy the same things other kids their age take for granted. Nathan says “the girls its amazing you know, I get attention now where as before it was like ewee...you know” While they both know it's going to an ongoing battle, these weightloss wonder kids reckon there's no going back. Cassey says “I feel like I'm beautiful and I don't think I'll change anymore” Sandy are you the proudest Mum in Perth? Yes. Totally. Nathan says “I actually got this message for myself that I live by...think fat and don't go back”

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