The very small world of the world’s heaviest man

This story was all over the national press on the same date. Paul Mason is 70 stone and has been confined to bed for the past few years. He apparently eats a staggering 20,000 calories a day.

There is only one question that springs to mind whenever I read stories about people who are in excess of 50 stone – who is feeding them?! Every documentary on TV, or article like this in a newspaper, shows the person confined to bed and therefore unable to wander to the newsagent to buy confectionery or to the chip shop to buy chips. If they can’t move sufficiently to get the crap food that is killing them, then someone else is doing this. This is tantamount to murder. Feeding a 70 stone person, confined to bed, 20,000 calories a day, has to be assisted suicide or attempted murder or something as serious as that.

Even worse, in this case, apparently UK tax payers are funding this. Paul is costing us over £100,000 a year in food and full time carers. Cut the full time carers and then the food can’t be administered either and Paul will live off his own fat reserves for some time.

4 thoughts on “The very small world of the world’s heaviest man

  • avatar
    June 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm
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    Very good point! Many thanks for this. I spend my whole day challenging everything I see, read and hear. This one must have slipped under my radar! I remember at the time thinking it sounded odd, but I get to the point where I don’t beleive the clock is saying the right time, so some things do slip through!

    I’m writing the next book at the moment “The Obesity Epidemic – what caused it? How do we stop it? and there is virtually nothing in our current diet advice that is right.

    Check out http://www.zoeharcombe.com/thecaloriemyth for starters; 5-a-day – no evidence base whatsoever, fat/heart/cholesterol – it’s all going to be attacked.
    Well done and many thanks on this one
    Very best wishes – Zoe

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  • avatar
    June 6, 2010 at 6:56 am
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    Grrr. I just watched that BBC horizon episode and they gave that … anecdote … completely without any references of any sort and so I tried to search it to verify it. And the ONLY relevant information I found was your post right here which you made as a result of watching the same thing. So I am very skeptical that this ever really happened. I tried many different permutations of the various statements, they said it was a female scottish phd student in 1968, the man was 450 pounds, he fasted for a year and 2 weeks, he lost 275 pounds. And so I also tried cross referencing it with “175 pounds” since that would be the weight he ended up. I wonder if it wasn’t EXACTLY 450 or 275. But they gave no reference in the opening or in the ending credits and that’s a very unscientific thing to do, to provide an anecdote as supporting evidence and give no evidence of it actually being a verifiable fact. I am very suspicious of that story because when you eat NOTHING but water and vitamins you will in very short time be completely depleted of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Your body can’t make that out of fat. Your muscles and organs will break down, and you will die, even if you have a lot of fat still on you. I don’t think the anecdote is possible. I believe he would be very sick in 2 months, which is why I was searching to verify their anecdote. I once went 3 weeks with nothing but water, vitamins and 200 calories per day of soy protein, and even then, I wasn’t hungry, I HURT. Every motion I made was painful; when I moved my arm, my arm hurt. It was like I was on a planet with 3 times Earth’s gravity and drugged with something that made me hurt from the inside out, and I was getting worse, and then I stopped.

    I don’t think my body follows the rules they present in that program either. They say that everyone’s body has a natural weight that it will drive that person to. But I find that if I drive it away far enough, that point will move. My weight in the last 18 months has varied from the 150s to the 190s. When I drove it down far enough, to say, 160, true, I would have a tendency to revert. But not all the way back to the 180s. If I just stopped monitoring it, the “natural” point for me will have shifted maybe to 175. If I drove it all the way into the 140s, maybe the natural point would be 165. It deserves consideration I think.

    Reply
  • avatar
    October 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm
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    Hi Helena – interesting one! I wouldn’t recommend it, but it has been done! (I would also recommend it in preference to the 20,000 calories of junk Paul is being given currently – anything has to be better than that).

    In the Jan 2009 Horizon Programme “Why are thin people not fat?”, a study was described where, in 1968, a Scottish PhD student got a 450lb man to agree to eat nothing but water and vitamins for 54 weeks. He lost 275lbs! (Oh for the days before disclaimers!)

    I can’t remember where I read it, but the best 2 options for weight, loss where the person is in such a serious state as this (i.e. is likely to die anyway unless something happens rapidly), are a) starvation or b) zero carb diets. My preference would then be for the zero carb option (literally meat, fish, eggs and nothing else) and then the person is at least getting good food and nutrients and keeping the body used to ingesting food.

    The problem with the very low calorie diets that still give you junk (e.g. slim fast is over 60% sugar, as are most meal replacement drinks) is that the body uses up valuable nutrients digesting the sugar that gives no nutrients back. The body also seems more inclined to ‘use itself up’ when faced with low calorie junk rather than no calorie or low carb. This is when you get the tragedies like the LighterLife deaths, as the body may use up lean tissue from around vital organs and then you’re in serious trouble.

    Keep up your v low carb regime – best by a mile!
    LOL – Zoe x

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  • avatar
    October 28, 2009 at 11:36 am
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    “Cut the full time carers and then the food can’t be administered either and Paul will live off his own fat reserves for some time”.

    You recommend complete starvation?

    Reply

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