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Supersize Kids Transcript (More information more Click through)
SCHOOLBOY Ryan Powell weighs 26 STONE at the age of 13 - yet still dreams of being a soccer star.
The youngster has piled on a frightening 10 stones in two years but the plucky kid refuses to give up hope of playing for his Premiership heroes Arsenal.
Ryan says: "I want to be a professional footballer with lots of money and drive fast cars."
Then confesses: "I love McDonald's, Chinese take-aways, all food. I even eat when I'm not hungry."
The lad was munching his way through up to 4,500 calories a day - TWICE the amount he needs - as he binged on junk food and fatty snacks. After a breakfast of four slices of buttered TOAST and a bowl of CEREAL he would guzzle CHOCOLATE, CRISPS and FIZZY DRINKS on the way to school.
More SWEETS and CRISPS at breaktime kept him going until a lunch of PIZZA and CHIPS.
He could not resist more SUGARY snacks at afternoon break. Then he would treat himself to a bumper portion of CHIPS and a SAVELOY on the way home - where a hearty Caribbean-style DINNER was waiting.
It's a recipe for disaster for Ryan - as Channel 4's Supersize Kids reveals.
It is also Obesity Awareness Week, following the shock revelation that three quarters of British adults are overweight with 22 per cent classified obese.
Munching crisps, Ryan says tragically: "I've tried losing weight but put it back on. I want to be treated with respect and not bullied any more. It breaks my heart when people laugh at me in the street. I just want to be normal."
Ryan admits using his dinner-money to buy sweets and chips and was caught taking money from his gran's purse to fuel his binges.
When he was given money to go swimming, he spent it on yet more grub. Viewers will see Ryan's worried family get help from fitness expert and pro football coach Erran Warden.
He comes up with a system of bronze, silver and gold awards to encourage Ryan to shed weight. The bronze prize is a medal and T-shirt, for silver he gets to watch Fulham footballers training and the gold prize is a meeting with his Arsenal idol Thierry Henry.
After wheezing through his first fitness session, the teenager scoffs more calorific snacks but vows: "I'm determined to do this.
"I can't go clubbing with friends or dance with girls as I just sweat and smell. And I don't want a future of diabetes and heart attacks."
When first aired on Channel 4, the sheer volume of emails and positive viewer comments overwhelmed Channel 4s website causing it to crash!! View the emotional rollercoaster drama here:
Despite his promises to eat a healthy diet, Ryan's weight keeps creeping up. The camera catches him scoffing crisps and chips in the street. It is the turning point when he is confronted later. He says: "After I was caught I felt free from all the secrecy. I'd do anything to lose weight and become a footballer."
sheds 2 1/2 stone in a few months and meets the Fulham stars. It's a heartening moment for the youngster whose personal anguish led him to seek comfort from food.
He was abandoned by his dad as a baby and his mum has struggled against mental illness.
Ryan has been brought up in south London by his grandparents, who he calls mum and dad.
His case highlights the massive problem of child obesity in Britain. The current generation of overweight youngsters face dying before their parents.
Ryan has halved his calorie intake by cutting out junk and sticking to three healthy meals a day.
But he still gives in to temptation occasionally - and admits he has a long way to go before making it as a footballer.
Supersize Kids, C4, Sky Living.