Clifton Kubiak loses 75 pounds after being 197 at age 14

Since losing 75 pounds, Clifton says he tries to stay moving all the time. Photo: ABC7

Clifton Kubiak was only 6 years old when doctors started being worried about his weight. It's nothing new in the United States, where 17 percent of adolescents are obese.

Once Clifton turned 14, weighed 197 pounds and had a Body Mass Index of 35, his doctor, Lynne Myers, knew it was time to take action.

"I said (that) if you don't do something now, the chances are you will go through life overweight," Dr. Myers said.

Statistics back Myers - 70 percent of those teenagers who are obese will likely stay overweight throughout adulthood, according to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Because of that, Myers and Clifton took action.

"I'd always known that I was one of the heavier kids at school, and I'd always wanted to be thin," Clifton said.

With the encouragement of Dr. Myers behind him, Clifton took a 21-day summertime scuba trip. That was 7 months ago. Since then, he has lost 75 pounds and is down to 123, a healthy weight for his age and height.

Now 15, Clifton says that he no longer eats when he's bored and tries to stay in motion constantly, read food labels and count calories.

"Instead of sitting down on the couch like I used to, I'm up doing something," Clifton said. "When I went back to school, people didn't even recognize me."

Keeping it off is always the challenge for anyone trying to lose large amounts of weight, but Dr. Myers is confident that Clifton is on the right path.

"I just started the process," she said. "His mom supported the process. He had the inner strength to say, 'This is what's important to me.'"