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28 April 2015, 06:04
A heartbroken mum from Whitley Bay has spoken to Capital about her anguish after her son who suffered from obesity during his teenage years died in his sleep.
Shaun Appleby was addicted to crisps, Coca Cola, chips and McDonald's chicken nuggets and his weight had rocketed to almost 19 stone at its highest.
His mother Satish, 56, of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, now wants to warn others about the importance of leading a healthy life as she believes his unhealthy diet contributed to his premature death.
"He loved fast food and fizzy drinks, but he didn't drink and he didn't smoke.
He would use technology too much.
He would sometimes be in his room playing on his Xbox for 12 hours, until four or five in the morning.
If he wasn't on his games console he was on his iPhone, Facebook, Youtube or watching DVD box sets.
The thing is he was bullied at school for his weight and he took comfort in the fact that he wasn't abused online and had friends there."
Shaun was just 15 when he was diagnosed as being obese.
He weighed 18 stone 9 pounds and wore size 38 jeans and had a size 17 collar and 32 chest.
Satish, who worked as a chef until the death of her son, tried to get him to change his unhealthy lifestyle and blames the fast food culture in the UK for his obesity.
As a child Shaun had lived in Australia with his mum and led an active lifestyle in the outdoors, but Satish says the problems started when they moved to England and he became more sedentary.
Shaun was born in England and moved to Australia with his parents and big sister, Chloe, at the age of four.
After his parents separated Shaun and his sister moved to Whitley Bay,North Tyneside, with their father and Shaun piled on the pounds when he got a taste for McDonald's, Dominos, KFC and fizzy pop.
Satish returned to Whitley Bay when Shaun was 14 and shared the parental role.
But she says Shaun had low self-esteem and spent most of his life at his computer.
"Shaun's downfall were crisps, Coca Cola, chips, chicken nuggets from McDonald's and he liked Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut."
Ironically Shaun, who died in February, was starting to lose weight at the time of his death and he weighed 15 stone 8 pounds and was six foot two, aged 18.
Mum-of-two Satish added:
"I started making him good natural food but habits are hard to kick and would sneak sweets and fizzy drinks into his room.
He was slimming down and was on a diet programme, but maybe the damage had already been done?
He seemed like he was just starting to properly enjoy life and become a man.
Shaun's life was too short and I wouldn't wish the pain I have gone through on my worst enemy.
My message is that kids need to get out more and there should be more cholesterol checks.
If this saves one child then Shaun's death is not wasted.
It means Shaun has shined.
He was my best friend and suddenly he is gone, no parent should ever go through this.
I want to urge other teenagers to get out more, and to ditch the fast food. I want some good to come from Shaun's death."
A coroner said Shaun died due to sudden adult death and that obesity had contributed.