Bogota: Eight-month-old Santiago Mendoza might look like a happy, cuddly little tot but the reality is that he is very sick.

Santiago, who weighs 19.7 kg — the equivalent of a six-year-old child — has been ‘rescued’ from his family by Colombian health charity Chubby Hearts. Volunteers from the foundation took the grossly obese infant away from his home in the north east city of Valledupar to a hospital in Bogota for urgent medical treatment.

Baby boom: At 19.7 kg, Santiago Mendoza’s weight is that of an average six-year-old

The intervention came after his mother Eunice Fandino wrote to Chubby Hearts for help after Santiago became too heavy to take outside. Fandino blamed her own ‘‘ignorance’’ for Santiago’s weight gain and admitted she fed him every time he cried. “He was born with an anxiety, so if he cried I just fed him,” she said.

Santiago’s weight has landed him in hospital on several occasions. He is now being assessed by specialists.

The weight of three-year-old Lu Hao, who is the world’s heaviest baby