Fifteen years old Anna Hankins from Mississippi, United States, who suffers from Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a rare genetic disorder that caused her to be overweight has been crowned pageant queen.
Anna was crowned queen in the Miss Amazing contest in Chicago, Illinois, a pageant that celebrates girls with disabilities.
Despite her condition and the unwanted attention that she gets from other kids, Anna was confident enough to join pageants.
The first time that Anna participated in pageants was when she was in fourth grade and she has since joined three other events. Anna, who loves to sing and is interested in makeup and hair, won the state title each time.
Jennifer said that she cries whenever she sees her daughter on stage.
Jennifer said that participating in Miss Amazing has helped with Anna’s self-esteem, reports TechTimes.
It also allowed Anna to see other girls with special needs, which helps her realize she is not the only one struggling with a condition.
About Prader-Willi Syndrome
Prader-Willi Syndrome is an incurable condition known to cause low muscle tone, cognitive disabilities, behavioral problems, and short stature. The condition also causes chronic feelings of insatiable hunger.
Most Common Genetic Cause Of Obesity
PWS is considered a rare disease but it is the most common known genetic cause of obesity, affecting one in 12,000 to 15,000 people. Those who have the condition need intervention and strict controls, which include padlocking access to food so they could maintain normal weight.
According to the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research website, “Individuals with PWS lack normal hunger and satiety cues. They usually are not able to control their food intake and will overeat if not closely monitored. Food seeking behaviors are very common.
“Left untreated, this combination of problems leads to morbid obesity and its many complications.”
Anna’s mother, Jennifer Hankins, said that because of her chronic eating disorder, the teenager eats anything she can get.
“There isn’t food she doesn’t like,” Jennifer said.
Diet Plan For Anna
Anna, who is now on ninth grade, was premature and underweight at birth. As a toddler, however, her parents noticed her insatiable appetite and was eventually diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome when she was 2 years old.
Her condition became worse as she gets older. Her appetite has become so out control prompting her parents to lock the fridge.
Doctors have placed the teenager on a restrictive 900-calorie-per-day diet. She is neither allowed to have fatty or sweet foods because these could have dangerous effect on her weight.
Despite of her diet plan, Anna was not able to lose weight because her body does not break down food properly. She still weighs 380 pounds and needs oxygen to breathe.