Dzhambulat Khatokhov was named the world's heaviest child by Guinness World Records in 2003

By Jason Duaine Hahn
December 30, 2020 03:28 PM
Credit: Shakh Aivazov/AP/Shutterstock

A Russian sumo wrestler who was once named the heaviest boy in the world has died at age 21, according to reports.

Due to his weight, Dzhambulat Khatokhov made headlines at an early age and was given the title of the world’s heaviest child by Guinness World Records in 2003, Reuters reported. At just 2 years old, Khatokhov weighed about 75 pounds — far heavier the 24 to 34 pounds that boys typically weigh at that age.

But, as the outlet noted, Khatokhov's weight continued to increase over the years, hitting 397 pounds when he was just 13.

Betal Gubzhev, who runs the sumo wrestling organization in the southern Kabardino-Balkaria region of Russia, announced Khatokhov's death on Tuesday in an Instagram post. He did not give a cause of death, though a Russian media outlet reported that Khatokhov had a previous history of kidney problems, according to Reuters.

Dzhambulat Khatokhov
| Credit: Dzhambulat Khatokhov/Instagram

“The record holder of the Guinness Book of Records, the first sumo wrestler of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic Dzhambulat Khatokhov has passed away," Gubzhev said in a translation by TASS, a Russian news outlet. "My condolences to the relatives and friends."

Khatokhov was the focus of a documentary called World's Biggest Boy when he was 7 years old and 224 pounds, the weight of a "baby elephant," filmmakers said.

Though a doctor tried to convey the health concerns regarding Khatokhov's growing size to his mother, Nelya, she brushed them off when interviewed for the documentary.

"My child is not ill, he's just unique," she said in the film. "If others think otherwise, that's up to them."

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The doctor, Ian Campbell, was open with Nelya about the risks of not managing Khatokhov's weight.

“His weight means he has a greatly increased risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease,” said Campbell, who expressed his concern that Nelya had no desire to have her son lose weight. “As a result of being so heavy so young, his life expectancy is likely to be greatly reduced.”

For the film, Campbell attempted to unravel the mystery behind Khatokhov's size, and considered whether he had a genetic condition or if he was being given anabolic steroids. Nelya denied giving her child the growth hormone.