Help my overweight daughter

By admin
15 February 2013

Sonja is 9 and weighs 64 kg – now her anxious mom has turned to YOU for guidance

PHOTO: Lalani and her daughter, Sonja.

She sits on her aunt’s lap – all 64 kg of her – her cheeks flushed with embarrassment at all the attention. Sonja van Zyl weighs as much as an adult woman yet she’s only nine years old.

“Perhaps she doesn’t look it but in her heart she’s still a little girl,” says her aunt Ronell Smith, at whose aftercare centre in Bethal, Mpumalanga, Sonja spends every afternoon.

“I’m very worried. Nobody wants to play with her because she’s so overweight.”

Sonja’s mom, Lalanie, is equally worried. She’d tried everything to get her eldest child to lose weight, then Ronell wrote to YOU and our sister magazine Huisgenoot in desperation, asking us to help Sonja.

She’s just 1,46 m tall and wears a size 5 shoe. But she carries so much weight she’s now complaining of pain in her legs and ankles. She’d love to spend the afternoons with the other girls her age at the aftercare centre but they avoid her.

“When they’re watching TV and Sonja comes to sit with them they move away from her,” Ronell says.

Read more of Danél Blaauw’s article in YOU 21 February 2013.

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