Tuesday, 14 October 2014

1000 Pounds of Trouble

As we were recovering from a bit of overindulgence during the Thanksgiving weekend, I recalled a larger food-related story.

Several years ago I heard about a New Jersey woman, who weighed 602 pounds at the time, had her sights set on seeing the scale hit four digits. She had previously earned the Guinness Book of Records title for being the world's heaviest mother when she gave birth, and was quoted in news reports as saying her strategy to add weight includes reducing her activity as much as possible and consuming more food.

She became an Internet celebrity of sorts when she set up a monetized web site that effectively allowed the public to enable her by watching videos of her eating and being bathed by caregivers.

This woman should have been considered insane.  Not only was she taking an extreme risk of contracting obesity-related conditions (if she hadn't already), her children will inevitably also suffer.  They will either be forced to enable her, or to be removed from her care when she becomes unable to move from her own room due to her size.  Her obesity plan should be considered as neglect of her children.

It's disgusting to think there are people who are morbidly obese and either can't or won't have something done about it.  At the same time, there are folks who struggle to keep themselves at a healthy weight, and then there are people who are starving for the lack of nutritious food.  There's something VERY wrong with this picture.

When I was in grade school I saw a film by Canada's National Film Board called "Hunger", in which an average man falls prey to gluttony and becomes extremely obese.  At the end he dreams about falling into the middle of a crowd of starving children, who tear him apart.  Drastic imagery, certainly, but a stark lesson about the contrast between plenty and want.

There is a hopeful ending to this story though.  More recent reports show that she has abandoned her 1000 pound quest and wants to lose the weight in order to be able to better care for herself and her children.


  1. I really have no idea why anyone would want to do this.
    I did hear of a man that gained weight on purpose (he was a fitness instructor and wanted to prove that losing weight is possible). He was even surprised with the results of his journey - easy to gain, not so easy to lose.

  2. I suppose holding a word record and being famous is what she was after--it didn't matter what for, or that she was destroying her health to achieve that. We see less extreme examples of this all around us. People will do almost anything for fame and recognition.