To call Zack Strenkert a big kid is an understatement. He looks like a miniature sumo wrestler, a puffy pink cumulus cloud of flesh.
At 17 months old, Zack weighs nearly 68 pounds, as much as an 8- or 9-year-old. His T-shirts are size On hot days, he wears nothing but a diaper--adult size. Mary Horlick, a pediatric endocrinologist in New York City. Fearing her son had a rare disease instead, Laurie Strenkert took Zack to Horlick, a specialist.
Zack is something of a celebrity in this rural town of aboutsituated 60 miles north of New York City. When she struggles to lift Zack into a shopping cart, Strenkert said, folks stop and stare.
She also made a plea for special baby equipment, since Zack was too big for any car seat and had outgrown his twin stroller. Zack, a cheerful boy with wispy blond ringlets, flung cushions off the furniture as she spoke.
People have been wonderful, warm, nice. Being big runs in the family.
Strenkert is 5-feet and pounds; her husband, Chris, is 6-foot-3 and weighs Her 7-year-old son, Andrew, weighs pounds, twice the normal size. Only 4-year-old Summer is slender.
Mother worries about large toddler
Zack weighed 10 pounds, 12 ounces, when he was born by caesarean section. When he was 8 months old, he had grown so big that Strenkert asked his pediatrician to take X-rays and conduct blood tests to see if something was wrong. Tests for thyroid problems, diabetes and other disorders all were negative.
The diagnosis: morbid obesity. The doctor recommended a diet.
A hospital agreed to do an MRI for free. Horlick also sent blood samples to colleagues at Rockefeller University, who are doing a long-range study of the genetics of obesity. He has become more active and recently started walking. Doctors hope he will grow into his weight as he gets taller.
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