MIAMI (CBS4) – The problem of childhood obesity is growing at an alarming rate.

An estimated 12 and half million children and teens in the United States are obese. That’s putting kids at risk for diseases that only adults used to get.

But teen is fighting to beat the odds.

Devin Wair, 14, has struggled with his weight since he was a toddler, and today he’s battling high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes.

“I wouldn’t do as much,” Devin said. “I would stay home and play games and not do things with my friends and things.”

But Wair is working to turn his life around with doctors, nutritionists, psychologists and physical therapists.

“It’s not just about the child,” said Michelle Demeule-Hayes, a Registered Dietitian. “It’s about changing the behaviors of the family.”

Wair’s family is leading by example. They eat salads instead of fried foods. They take neighborhood walks instead of playing video games.

“It was a sacrifice for us,” Devin’s grandmother Sharon said. “But it was so worth it.”

After 10 weeks of healthier living, Wair was 20 pounds lighter.

“He’s so much happier now,” Sharon says. “His personality shines.”

But Wair says it’s still a struggle.

“Some days it’s really hard,” he said. “Some days it’s not.”

With the help of his doctors and family, Wair hopes to get his weight below 200 pounds in the coming year.


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