Little Boys: Joshua

Morbidly Obese Toddler

Josh's dad writes:

Dear Dr. Phil:

You may remember my son, Joshua. You talked to his mother and great aunt on the show a while back because he was severely obese. His mother had custody then, but after seeing Joshua on the show, I fought for custody and received temporary custody. By the time we received Joshua, he was 187 pounds. He's now 8 years old.


I am happy to say you wouldn't recognize Joshua if you saw him. With exercise and proper nutrition, the weight just came off. He plays track, football, soccer and loves riding his bike. Now Joshua is the Stair Master. He'll run up and down the stairs 50 times in a row every day. You can see the difference in how happy he is.


Thank you, Dr. Phil, for pointing me in the direction of Joshua. With your help, we were able to save his life.

A proud father,


"First, God bless the two of you for stepping up in this young man's life and doing what you had to do," Dr. Phil tells Alex and his wife, Cindy.


Dr. Phil turns to Josh's Aunt Cindy in the audience. "Thank you so much for writing this letter to bring this story to our attention," he says. "It's just amazing."


Referring to Josh's mother, Tina, Dr. Phil says, "She's still not happy, right?"


"No sir," Alex says.

"It is well worth it. She can just be mad at me," Dr. Phil says.

Finally, it's time to meet the boy of the hour. A slimmer, healthier Josh saunters out on stage.

"How you doing, buddy?" Dr. Phil asks, as Josh jumps up in his chair.

"Good," Josh replies.

"I saw you flying up and down those stairs," Dr. Phil says, referring to what he'd seen of the boy on the videotape.


"I know!" Joshua says proudly. "I go very fast. At first, I was having trouble going down three little steps. I was like a penguin."


"Are you strong?"


"How strong are you?" Dr. Phil asks with a grin. 

"Well, almost as strong as my dad," Josh says.

"We're really proud of you for taking good care of yourself. We're really, really proud of you for working out and doing a good job," Dr. Phil praises the boy. "What's your favorite food?" 

"Broccoli," Josh replies, as the audience cheers.


Dr. Phil invites Aunt Cindy up on stage. "I just want to thank you so much for doing this," he tells her. "I wanted you to say hello because you hadn't seen [Josh] for a long, long time."

The aunt and nephew embrace, as Alex looks on, touched.