'Britain's fattest teen' pleads for funds to continue US treatment

A 16-year-old girl once dubbed Britain's fattest teen is to make a desperate plea for NHS funding to continue her successful weight loss programme in America.

Georgia Davis has lost more than 14 stone during the last nine months at the Wellspring Academy in North Carolina.

She tipped the scales at 33 stone before adopting a healthy eating plan, taking up exercise and undergoing cognitive behaviour therapy to counter her fatty food impulses.

Her alarming weight gain began at the age of five when she started comfort eating to cope with the stress of her father's death.

A spokesman for the academy, who said Georgia is one of the most successful students in their history, said her scholarship ends in December - six months short of the stay they say Georgia requires. It would cost just over £20,000 to extend her stay at the academy to June.

Georgia, who returned to her home in Aberdare, south Wales, this week, has arranged to meet with her local MP Ann Clwyd to discuss the case.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Georgia said she would not give up on her goal to shed another six stone and reach her target weight of 12 stone if the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Health Board didn't provide the cash.

Talking about how essential her treatment was, Georgia said: "If you get to the point where I was, and most people are, you can't just stop (eating).

"It is like heroin. You need help."

She said a structured diet has seen her daily calorie intake reduce from 13,000 per day to just 1,200.

Asked on 5 Live whether she was tempted to abandon healthy eating, Georgia replied she wasn't, adding: "I really didn't want to be that person any more. I wanted to change, and I've wanted to change for a long time."

A spokeswoman for the Wellspring Academy said: "She is amazing. I think she is probably the most successful student there to date.

"She has even appeared on Good Morning America and has become something of a celebrity in the States for her weight loss."

The spokeswoman added: "Prior to going to the academy, she had been receiving hospital treatment because her weight had impacted on her health.

"Her (type 2) diabetes has now disappeared and she is doing really well. "Initially the local health board turned the first application for funding down.

"Her mother had a letter this morning to say they are going to review this so there is potential for them to change their mind."