‘World’s heaviest teen’ manages to lose 100 kilos, gains a life
Last year, 14-year-old Mihir Jain could only dream of visiting Comic Con. He weighed 237kg, relied on insulin shots to keep diabetes in check and had been stuck to his bed for the past few years. “At the time I never thought I could make it to the event but a year later, here I am, at the Delhi Comic Con. Honestly, I am shocked,” confesses Mihir who attended the event on Saturday.
Mihir, who is an avid gamer, a fan of DC Comics and counts The Hulk and Flash as his favourite superheroes, made news this July for being the world’s heaviest teenager.
Four months after gastric bypass surgery and a strict diet, Jain has lost 100kg and now weighs 137kg. “I ha- ve 50 more to go,” says Mihir. Once unable to do the simplest of tasks, he now takes a 10-minute walk outside his Uttam Nagar home in Delhi and plays badminton with his younger sister Nandini. Quite a change from staying glued to his PlayStation.
At seven, Mihir stopped attending school due to his bulk. “For the first year after leaving school, his teachers would come home to teach him. But even that couldn’t continue as he developed respiratory problems and couldn’t study,” says his mother Puja who used to blame herself for his son’s condition.
Whatever food he demanded, I would make it or get it for him,” says Puja. Eventually, the platefuls of pakodas, pasta and pizza landed him with a world record in body weight. He lay in bed all day, unable to move or breathe easily.
Last November, he developed diabetes and finally agreed to get gastric bypass surgery at Delhi’s Max Hospital by Dr Pradeep Chowbey.
Mihir undergoes daily physiotherapy to strengthen muscles that had become wasted due to years of being in bed. He is rediscovering the joys of being mobile. Last month, he went to watch the movie Venom with his sister. “Now, I can wear clothes that I like, like a black superhero Tshirt. Because of my weight I couldn’t find a T-shirt of my size earlier,” Mihir says.
Mihir is on a strict diet that focuses more on protein and fibre — dal cheela, sprouts, salads, dal, veggies etc. “I haven’t had an ice-cream since last October and I also miss pasta,” he says, and admits that he does cheat once in a while. “I had a veg burger last month on my birthday.”
Obesity runs in the Jain family. Mihir says his parents, sister and chachu (uncle) are all obese and fond of eating fried and junk food. But that was in the past. Now everyone’s eating simple but nutri-
BEFORE 237 kg
tious home-cooked meals. “My mother has lost 10kg, father 20kg and chachu 30kg from an earlier 140. In fact, I tease my father that he’s losing weight so that he can wear imported branded clothes,” Mihir adds with a laugh. Sister Nandini, too, has stopped eating her favourite Chinese and Italian food, and is competing with her brother to get into shape.
Although Mihir is much lighter and mobile now, he chooses not to go to school. He is more interested in pursuing technology-related subjects online, he explains. “I want to learn coding languages and then look for a job or set up my own business,” says Mihir.
Are his parents worried about his future? “Mihir is very sharp. Even if he doesn’t go to school, it’s okay,” says his father Rajiv who runs a Mother Dairy depot. Mihir himself is upbeat about the future. “I am doing my best and my doctors are doing their best. The result will be positive,” he adds with confidence.
Mihir Jain at Comic Con in Delhi