Chubby and smiling. This little six-month-old weighs 5Kgs and is called Xue Yuyan. She was nicknamed “little Michelin baby” for her arm full of folds that make her look like Bibendum, the white mascot of the Michelin tire company.

In no time at all she became famous. The net went crazy for her and her images are very popular. Her parents have opened their account on Kuaishou, a photo and video sharing platform.

michelin babyHer father commented, that he was worried she could grow up to be obese. He is in fact considering a medical examination to assess the situation. According to the tables, a little Chinese girl at that age should not weigh more than 3Kgs: Xue is almost double!

Her rolls are nice but could indicate a disease called “Michelin tire syndrome”, or circumferential folds of skin like Kunze. According to Science Daily, this disease is extremely rare with fewer than a dozen cases worldwide.

The disease is genetic, according to clinical geneticists in Belgium who have isolated two genes that cause or trigger the disorder. Professor Hilde Van Esch of the KU Leuven Department of Human Genetics states that while limb rolls are the most visible symptom of the disorder, it can be an indicator of more serious congenital problems.

The disease was a challenge to study because there are few cases in the world, but the two identified genes are MAPRE2 and TUBB. Both of these genes contain the production code for the proteins that are part of the microtubules and are fundamental for the production of vital proteins and the launch of cell division.