Just As I Thought

About the 750 pound man

After the sad shock of the poor child in Indonesia, the next program on TLC was about a man in Maryland who weighed more than 700 pounds. They had to dismantle his house around him to get him out for help after 7 years in a bed. Seven years.
From the very start, I was unsympathetic about this guy.
This is one of those situations that has no victim, only a participant. I give you an example: his wife (who seemed particularly clueless as well as overweight) said, when the man’s legs finally could no longer support him and he fell to the floor, that he didn’t seem to be worried about it and so therefore, she wasn’t worried.
I am no svelte male model; but even I know a few basics of nutrition. You’d think that someone who was 600 pounds overweight would at least make some concessions. But, at the beginning of the show, his wife brought him a soda. When in the hospital, he complained about the vegetable soup and wanted a hamburger instead. He has a huge stash of fatty, salty, calorie-laden snacks hidden away in his hospital room, brought in by his wife. He says he knows how to manage it. I beg to differ.
There was seemingly no one around this guy — wife, family, or friends — who wasn’t significantly obese. Judging from his sister’s weight, I can imagine that there is some genetic component at work here. That makes it especially difficult to lose weight and keep it off, and I sympathize. I shouldn’t be so judgmental about this. But to me, there is a simple matter of common sense involved: when do you decide to do something about it, to seek help or change your life? 300 pounds? 400? 500? 600? Or do you wait until you approach 800 and are at the verge of death?
Is this guy still alive? This time, I won’t be shocked if the caption after the credits tells us that he died.
Here’s what’s scary: there is a special scale called a Hoyer Scale, which is designed for the morbidly obese. Are there enough morbidly obese people in this country that it makes economic sense to build these devices?

The Washington Post takes a look at this story from the same viewpoint I have — how do you allow this to happen?

Life got away from John and Gina, one day at a time, one calorie at a time. As incredible as it seems, suddenly seven years had passed, they say, and with a shudder they realized that the abnormal had become routine.

And, yes, he died, also this last September. He was only 39.


  • People lose sense of reality. It’s the same in reverse with anorexics and bulemics who develop a distorted image of themselves. Gaunt Karen Carpenter thought she was fat to the end. That’s what worries me when R. starts saying he’s fat…

    Though with the morbidly obese… ugh, how did they even perform basic daily functions. You know what I mean. yuck.

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