The two-year-old boy who became an international sensation after he was found chain smoking in a remote village has kicked the habit, lost weight and is now the ‘champion’ of his primary school.
Aldi Rizal shot to fame in 2010 after he was discovered in a poor village in Sumatra, Indonesia, puffing 40 cigarettes a day while riding his tricycle.
Just two years later the little boy managed to quit with the help of the Indonesian government providing special rehabilitation, but he replaced his smoking addiction with food and drastically gained weight.
Now, at nine-years-old, Aldi has managed to keep away from cigarettes, lose weight and excel at school.
Aldi’s shocking smoking addiction led to the Indonesian government launching a campaign to tackle the problem with many picking up the habit in smaller villages.
‘At first when we were weaning Aldi off the cigarettes he would have terrible tantrums,’ Aldi’s mother Diane Rizal, 32, said in 2013. ‘But now he doesn’t want them.’
Aldi’s family decided to take him to a nutritionist for medical checks and then started him on a strict diet.
The little boy weighed 24 kilograms at just five years old – almost six kilograms above the recommended weight for a child his age.
Paediatric specialist Dr William Nawawi said the smoking could have also contributed to Aldi’s weight issues.
‘The blood will not be able to break glucose from food. This will make Aldi become bigger and bigger,’ he said.
But after four years on a strict diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, Aldi managed to lose most of the weight and has now turned his focus to finishing grade four.