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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Former chain smoking Indonesian toddler Ardi Rizal now addicted to junk food
This photo shows Ardi Rizal smoking a cigarette while playing at the family home on May 23, 2010.Ardi Rizal, the Indonesian toddler who first made headlines in 2012 for his 40 cigarette-a-day habit has returned to the media spotlight after it was revealed he's suffering from a new addiction -- to junk food.
Back in 2010, international pressure caused the Indonesian government to organize an intervention and rehabilitation program for the now 5-year-old in his remote village of Sumatra,reportsThe Independent. Rizal's smoking habit even spurred a government-led national campaign to end childhood smoking.
A documentary crew has been following the young boy's successful recovery from his smoking addiction, only to discover he's now addicted to fatty snacks. His favourite food is condensed milk, which he reportedly consumes three cans of per day.
Some would say his junk food addiction is a no-brainer, given his mother's use of food as a bribe when he threw fits caused by nicotine withdrawal after quitting smoking.
"When Ardi first quit smoking he would demand a lot of toys," his mother tells the Daily Mail. "He would bang his head on the wall if he couldn't get what he wanted... Now I don't give him cigarettes, but he eats a lot. With so many people living in the house it's hard to stop him from getting food."
Rizal's nutritionist notes he is approximately 13 pounds overweight. His concerned parents sought the help of a nutritionist when they realized he was being just as demanding with junk food as he was with cigarettes, and they have since put him on a strict diet.
Pediatric specialist Dr. William Nawawi suggests that losing weight will be even more challenging for Rizal because his early-age smoking habits have affected hormone, insulin and glucose levels, but that it's not too late for him to turn his life around.