Obese boy ‘has fitness of old man’, TV doctor says

Dolores, David, and Oisín Mahony walk along a running track in the TV3 documentary series 'Doctor in the House' — both parents are aware of hereditary diseases and are keen to avoid what might be down the road.

The family of an obese schoolboy has been told their son is "a walking time-bomb".

And a doctor in a television series has also compared the 12-year-old boy’s fitness to that of an 80-year-old.

For a Cork family involved in the series, which highlights unhealthy lifestyles, it may be just what the doctor ordered.

In the programme, a team of doctors and medical professionals assess the lifestyles of six families and help them implement healthy habits.

The first episode of TV3’s Doctor in the House will be screened on Monday.

The episode follows the Mahony family from Cork, whose lifestyles have descended into one of takeaways, daily alcohol, and virtually no exercise.

Parents Dolores and David were told about the TV show doctor’s concerns about the health and fitness of their son, Oisín.

All of the family, it emerged, “carry extra weight” but they now realise something needed to change.

In the episode, Nina Byrnes monitors the Mahony family’s eating habits and discovers some shocking behaviour.

She said: “Oisín ate a very large bowl of pasta, even by adult standards, with three large pieces of garlic bread. I mean, that is just way too much for a child of his age. If he keeps eating like that, he will be a diabetic, sooner rather than later. The dog got a fresh cooked steak. The dog had the healthiest meal of the family this evening.”

Both parents are aware of hereditary diseases in their family background and say they are keen to avoid what might be down the road if they do not change their ways.

After a health screening, the family finds out Dolores has heart disease, along with the possibility of pre-diabetes.

In addition, David has a fatty liver, narrowed arteries, and an enlarged heart. They also find out Oisín has extremely low fitness levels.

Fitness expert Niall Moyna said: “If Oisín ran up a flight of stairs, he would be at his maximal effort at the top of the stairs. He has the fitness level of an 80-year-old man, and he is 12 years of age.”

Prof Moyna tells the Mahonys they must take urgent steps, and give them their ‘doctors’ orders’.

Eight weeks later, the family is retested to see what effect their lifestyle change has had on their long-term health. In the following episodes, we meet five other households, each hoping to get healthy once and for all.

Doctor in the House airs on Monday at 9pm on TV3.


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