# Half ton man

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## Main Question or Discussion Point

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6056600/

This is horrible ,and i would have thought impossible, how could any one get this way ?

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G01
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I have no idea. It seems impossible, yet so many people are obese, but not necessarily to this extent. A big part of the problem is lack of self control, I believe. Also, Healthy foods just aren't encouraged these days. And neither is exercise, especially when you consider how kids who aren't in shape can easily be discouraged from participating in sports and activities for so many reasons(embarrassment, and competition, for starters). I really hope we can curb the obesity epidemic in my generation and the next.

cristo
Staff Emeritus
Apparently, he worked in the food business... sounds like excuses to me!

Yeah I don't see how someone can do that either. I would think once you hit 500 (even earlier) you would notice something was wrong. I also thought it was strange that Medicare would not support his diet efforts; 900 pounds overweight seems like a health issue, not a looks issue to me.

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Yeah I don't see how someone can do that either. I would think once you hit 500 (even earlier) you would notice something was wrong. I also thought it was strange that Medicare would not support his diet efforts; 900 pounds overweight seems like a health issue, not a looks issue to me.

I start to worry if my jeans get to tight, this guy must have had many
danger signals, but chose to ignore them, how could he let himself go

G01
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I start to worry if my jeans get to tight, this guy must have had many
danger signals, but chose to ignore them, how could he let himself go
I agree. I sometimes think people this bad off want to eat that much, no matter the consequences.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
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What I never can understand is that when someone gets to that weight, they haven't done it on their own. Once he reached a weight where he was no longer mobile, someone had to keep shopping for him and bringing him food. Why didn't they say, "NO, if you've gotten so unhealthy you can't get up and get your own food, I'm not going to allow you to keep getting worse."

The other shocker, when you read the article, is he was technically malnourished when he arrived at the hospital! His diet was so bad that in spite of all that weight, he was actually not getting necessary nutrients.

G01
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Why didn't they say, "NO, if you've gotten so unhealthy you can't get up and get your own food, I'm not going to allow you to keep getting worse."
This is a good point. I think that people who get like this, just want an easy fix. If it involves work, then they rather keep getting more obese. I guess the people with them are also looking for easy ways out..?

I watched a show about people like this on TLC (They seem to thrive off of weird stories like this lately :/). Anyways, this one guy was eating about 20,000 calories a day and his father and sister were constantly there cooking for his fat ass while he laid in bed... Their reasoning followed these lines "If we don't cook it, he'll just order out" But where does he get all this money? They said that he ate his way through something like $200/day in food. Moonbear Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member I have an easier time comprehending someone who has gotten obese continuing to get more obese, either because they get depressed and keep eating out of hopelessness, or because they lack the willpower to resist food, or because they just don't know how to eat healthy or have lost all perspective on their size and the amount they are eating. It's a lot harder for me to understand someone else looking at a person that obese and thinking they should continue to support that behavior. It can't be easier to care for a half ton invalid than to put your foot down and insist they get the treatment they need to improve their health (not just a diet, but perhaps even locate a psychiatrist to make housecalls...I don't think someone can reach that degree of obesity without some underlying psychiatric issue that they can care so little about their own health). I mean, just think about all the bodily functions that need to happen and somehow having to help clean that. After about a day of that, you'd think most caregivers would say, enough is enough, you need help not more junk food. Definitely. He can't over eat if he can't get to the kitchen. He can't order out if he can't get to the front door. The people he depends on are prime suspect in this tragedy. Maybe they need treatment as well. The guy they were doing a film about on TLC would arrange it so that he would lower a bucket on a rope from his bedroom window with the cash, and then the delivery person would put the food in the bucket. Moonbear Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member But where does he get all this money? They said that he ate his way through something like$200/day in food.
Another good question. I think I saw that show too, and your retelling of it reminded me of it. I wondered that too...how does someone who can't work afford so much food? Heck, that's what kept me so skinny in grad school...it wasn't that I was a crazy dieter, I just simply couldn't afford junk food. At some point, don't you just run out of money to keep supporting the habit? It seems a lot like drug addiction where it's not just harmful but costly, except drug addicts steal or prostitute themselves or start dealing to find the money to support their habit. How is someone bedridden supporting their habit...legally or illegally, that money has to come from somewhere.

Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
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youtube has the body shock documentary entitled half ton man in full if you search for it. I watched it about a year ago and was utterly shocked at how anyone could get that big and still be alive.

G01
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It's a lot harder for me to understand someone else looking at a person that obese and thinking they should continue to support that behavior.
Maybe they are afraid of confronting the individual, making them angry etc. Believe it or not, there are probably alot of people who would rather help the people continue to eat than confront them, just because its easier. I'm still of the belief it all falls back on the idea of taking the easy path.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The guy they were doing a film about on TLC would arrange it so that he would lower a bucket on a rope from his bedroom window with the cash, and then the delivery person would put the food in the bucket.
And that's where a caregiver needs to step in and cut the rope on the bucket. Out of whack might have it right, the caregivers probably need treatment too. Who knows, maybe it's their enabling that allowed them to get obese in the first place. I mean, we've all probably seen a parent of an overweight child who just gives them a cookie every time they cry rather than dealing with the child's behavior directly.

I'm still of the belief it all falls back on the idea of taking the easy path.
You may be right. They may not even care for the guy but just want to handle the situation using the least effort.

I met someone awhile ago who was not that heavy but so heavy they could not walk on their own well, required larger hospital beds....ect. When I met this person they had just finished watching an Oprah show about morbidly obese people and commented that they just didn't know how people could let themselves go like that. My response was basically "uh huh "

G01
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You may be right. They may not even care for the guy but just want to handle the situation using the least effort.
Fast food is easier, leads to obesity.

Buying bigger clothes is easier, helps hide the problem, leads to more weight gain,

Using elevators becomes easier than stairs, leads to even more pounds(or Newtons if we're working in SI)

Gastric Bypass becomes easier than beign bedridden, weight drops, but was the problem actually fixed???

Its a spiral of sadness.....or easiness

I hope I'm proven wrong, this situation can lead to no good for society in general.

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I wondered that too...how does someone who can't work afford so much food?
Yea, I think that the $200/day estimate may be quite high but I am sure that it was over$150/day (he ate 8 steaks a day, I remember that because of the absurdity of it..) Thats a wealthy person's entire income before taxes, it would take a doctor type people to fully support just his food habits. It made me wonder if he's getting some sort of assistance for a 'disability'? That would be the worst case scenario I think. I agree that the rope should be cut by a family member.

edit: I made a mistake with the mental math and exagerated how much it would cost, but still its over 70k a year just for food.

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Yeah I don't see how someone can do that either. I would think once you hit 500 (even earlier) you would notice something was wrong. I also thought it was strange that Medicare would not support his diet efforts; 900 pounds overweight seems like a health issue, not a looks issue to me.
But there isn't a time when anyone without the necessary discipline or control looks and says to themselves, "Something's wrong. I should do something about it." The downward spiral is always a subtle one. The sky is always gray in their world. It is a pattern some of us fall into. The same with the relatives or friends who assist the person in trouble. They also fall into the pattern.

With poor insight, they fail to adequately recognize the seriousness of their problems. Since they have had them for a long time, they adapt. It's been a problem for me too. -Not with weight (I've never weighed more than 145). I've had to train myself to regularly check what I'm doing every hour to keep myself on track. There was a very dark time in my life when I did pretty much nothing with myself. Oh, I went to work and exercised a little. But I was rotting. It got to the point where I couldn't remember how to divide something so simple as 45/12.

It took a few years to pull out of that. Now I'm on my way to college.

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edit: I made a mistake with the mental math and exagerated how much it would cost, but still its over 70k a year just for food.

Some one must have been shoveling cash at this guy 70k a year :surprised
may be he was being sponsored.

Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Well I think the main thing that is striking me is that these people are hopeless. not in the sense that we should give up on them but rather that they have no aspirations left and thus nothing to work toward. what needs to be worked on is why there was a loss of aspiration in the first place. For many it will probably be as simple as a confidence or anxiety issue.

FredGarvin