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Published on March 26, 2022

“No More Fast Food For Me”

Twelve-Year-Old Makes Bold Choice to Lose Weight and Live a Healthier Life

Photo of Andrew smiling while listening to music on a pair of headphonesIn mid-2020, when 12-year-old Andrew looked in the mirror, he didn’t like what he saw. At 5’2” and 147 pounds, he was overweight, afraid of hitting 150 pounds. Andrew decided to make a bold lifestyle change, starting immediately.

That same day, when his parents offered to take him to McDonald’s, he chose to eat at home. That kicked off a series of healthy changes that Andrew continues to follow today.

Andrew stopped eating meat and started getting active. He traded potato chips for homemade apple chips. He pays close attention to portion control, and knows how to treat himself occasionally within limits.

He stays active by playing tennis and golf (without a cart) with his family, going fishing, hiking, and doing one-mile runs around his neighborhood.

“Not only have I lost weight, I’ve gained more energy,” said Andrew. “When playing tennis, I can make cross-court shots, which I couldn’t do before, and I like how I look and feel.”

Today, Andrew is down 14 pounds, as he continues to grow in height—he’s becoming leaner and more muscular as he gets taller. He attributes his healthier lifestyle to his doctor, Shalini Bhargava MD, a pediatrician at PIH Health La Mirada medical office building. Andrew and his brother continue to receive care from Dr. Bhargava, even after they moved further away from the office.

“After Andrew began gaining weight in elementary school, we would often talk about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight,” said Dr. Bhargava. “It’s very difficult to make healthy lifestyle choices— and stick to them. I’m proud of Andrew and his commitment. The changes he has made will benefit him greatly throughout his life.”

For more information about the PIH Health Pediatrics department, visit

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.