March 23rd, 2010
04:59 PM ET

Childhood Obesity: A girl's struggle, in pictures

Program Note: Don't miss Randi Kaye's full report on one teenager's struggle with obesity tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET. Maria's story is the first in a three-part series taking a look at childhood obesity, airing this week on AC360°.


Teenager Maria Caprigno has been overweight since she was about three years old, but now she wants to change that. See a gallery of Maria starting as an adorable 3-month-old tot, all the way up to 13-year-old teenager.

Maria at 3 months.

Maria at 6 months.

Maria at 9 months.

Maria at 1 year.

Maria at 18 months.

Maria at 2 years.

Maria at 3 years.

Maria at 4 years.

Maria at 5 years.

Maria at 6 years.

Maria at 7 years.

Maria at 8 years.

Maria at 9 years.

Maria at 13 years.

Filed under: Childhood Obesity • Health Care • Randi Kaye
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This girls entire family struggles with weight problems and she has inspired them all to lose weight. I hope the family will continue their weight loss especially Maria because it's a matter of life over death for this young girl, she has multiple problems due to obesity.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  2. Tom

    People have to remember this is someones little girl, there child.
    She is someone friend have a heart and treat people the way you would like to be treated.I know many women on the outside are in great shape beauty in only skin deep.
    Remember beauty fades ugly is forever

    March 24, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  3. Roger

    What we have here is a clear case of child abuse. Although Maria is taking charge now, it was her parents responsibility to raise her in a healthy environment. They have destroyed her self confidence and put her health and well being at risk. I see many heavyset parents with heavy children in tow and wonder if the "misery loves company" adage applies. I am no Mr Olympia myself but was brought up in an environment where healthy eating was at least suggested. Any of the wrong decisions I made about junk food and overeating as an adult were my own choice. To raise a child to become morbidly obese (unless there is a medical reason, very rare) is inexcusable. By the time the child is old enough to think on her own, it is too late.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  4. Phyllis Stein-Novack

    This is a tragedy. I read every food label before I make a purchase. I am a restaurant critic/food columnist in Philadelphia. I cook at home. AT the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's caffeteria yesterday, a 4th year medical student was drinking a Pepsi and eating a ghastly hunk of pizza with a knife and fork. She said there's nothing wrong with drinking soda. I was eating lentil soup and a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. The woman is a future doctor and knows nothing about nutrition.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  5. KateMae

    Maria, good for you. One suggestion I have for you is to investigate Weight Watchers, which definitely promotes healthy eating and exercise, and which gives you a supportive place for your weight loss journey.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  6. Michelle

    Awe baby girl, I'm sad for you. I won't blame your parents, perhaps they grew up the same way. I hope you can really do this, so you can live a long healthy life.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  7. Deb

    Thank you for sharing those precious photos with us. And keep up the good work in the right steps to a healthy living. You have a long life ahead of you and this body will last a long time. Please take good care of yourself Maria.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  8. Amy Marconi

    I am glad our first lady is taking on the issue of weight problems with youth. My cousin who I am very close with had weight loss surgery at eighteen. It has made quite a bit of difference to her health- and she was not abused growing up but had parents who genetically were bigger people and they didn't have the best eating habits but it was far from what most people would consider abnormal- they were busy and that lead to eating a lot of processed foods or skipping meals. My cousin is a happy well adjusted adult now. Thank you Maria for being brave enough to share your story!

    March 24, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  9. laura

    This all started when she was very young. One can see that in the pictures. It is a shame her parents didnot take more interest in feeding her better food. Then she wouldn't be going through this now.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  10. kt

    This is specifically her parents fault for providing her with the crap she ate. The should be charged with child endangerment and cruelty. Now the public at large with be subsidizing her surgery and any problems she has from being morbidly obese.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  11. Amber

    Maria, at 24, I am in the same boat as you. Large all of my life I am finally about to have bypass surgery in the next few months. Good for you – better to get a hold on it earlier rather than later.

    March 24, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  12. Brian

    Yes, obesity is a serious matter, and unfortunately parents today rarely instill healthy lifestyle habits in their children. It’s sad because they don’t realize the physical and emotional stress it causes. You can’t expect children to take responsibility for their health, but there is no excuse for adults.

    March 24, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  13. Isabel Siaba, Brazil

    Obesity is a serious matter.

    In my country, I don't see more people preparing meals at home, as it was in my childhood, and eating healthy foods. It seems that no one eats at home while the food courts are always full of people.

    March 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  14. Mari

    Many people are obese because they have been abused is some form. They eat for the same reasons people drink too much or do drugs, to numb the pain. The solution has to be body, spirit and heart. Healing the whole person. If one loses weight without dealing with the core reason why you overeat, you will gain the weight back and then some.

    What's sad is how society treats the obese. We need to remember, "there but by the grace of God go I."

    God bless you, Maria, with good health!

    March 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm |