Adrian McHargh grew up active and skinny in Kingston, Jamaica. An enthusiastic swimmer, he had the pristine waters of the Caribbean for a playground until two years ago, when he and his family moved to America.
"I would always cook a healthy dinner," the 13-year-old's mother, Visha Siew-Narine, says about mealtime on the island. "When he came here, I think the fascination of having all this food that we couldn't afford in Jamaica, or that wasn't really available, that was kind of new to him."
In suburban Atlanta, things changed fast. The new foods were cheap, unhealthy and hard to resist: toaster waffles, corn dogs and the chocolate syrup Adrian liked so much he guzzled it straight from the bottle.
"I would eat a lot because I was bored," he says. "I was sitting on the couch just watching TV, not playing a lot."
Within months, Adrian was in trouble. He'd packed on 30 pounds. Doctors said he had hypertension, high cholesterol and was at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Read full article »
John Bonifield is an associate producer with CNN Medical News.