Friday, 20 November 2009

A growing problem

Manuel Uribe, the world's most obese man has been confined to his bed for the past six years

Perhaps I should spend less time reading the newspapers, but in my situation I’m not sure there’s much else to do once I’ve been out for my jog and spent an hour on the exercise bike!

My latest nugget from the press involves a man who weighs a staggering 39-stone (that’s 248kg or 546 pounds) and has literally outgrown his house. The 67-year-old Michael Williment has put on so much weight that he can no longer move around his specially built bungalow and now requires a couple of carers to hoist him out of his bed and transfer him to a specially adapted armchair where he spends 11 hours each day.

So generous are the authorities in the UK that the man’s local council in Norfolk has agreed to build him a new bungalow at a cost of £300,000 with specially widened corridors and a massive master bedroom.

Since Mr Williment’s last growth spurt, he and his wife Heather have been unable to sleep together. They say they are looking forward to sharing a bed again. “It will be a lot better for us as a married couple,” said Mrs Williment, who admits that her husband’s weight ‘gets me down sometimes’! I think the words she was grasping for may have been crush or flatten.

Mr WIlliment thinks his weight problem was caused by a course of steroids he took as a teenager to treat his eczema. His weight has ballooned since then and Mr Williment now admits he’s given up trying to lose weight. No kidding!

Lucy MacLeod, NHS Norfolk consultant in public health claimed that the main causes of obesity are down to ‘a high calorie diet and a lack of exercise’. No shit, Sherlock! Who’d have thought it? I always wondered how people got fat. In a marvellous piece of NHS-speak, Ms MacLeod added: “NHS Norfolk is committed to working with our partners to encourage members of the public to become more active and facilitate their move towards healthier diets.” I wonder how much she gets paid for spouting that meaningless tripe.

Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said the council should be saluted for building Mr Williment a special new home. “We have to have somewhere for this person to live and this house could well be an investment for the future because it can be used by other obese people when he is no longer using it.” That probably won’t be too long, I would think, looking at Mr Williment.

'There's a real need for the NHS to catch these people before things ever get to this state.' I’d agree with that. In fact, I think it would be pretty easy to catch someone like that. I doubt they could run very fast. Hey… even I could catch them!


  1. If you are a Duncan Donuts breakfast eater instead of having a multigrain bagel with lite cream cheese (500 calories, 17 g fat, 6 g saturated and 850 mg sodium) try the ham, egg and cheese English Muffin (350 calories, 15 g fat, 1,104 mg sodium)

  2. That image is so sad. His revelling in his position is difficult. I struggle with my weight too (but I still fit through doorways!) I don't know what the solution is (to the issues not my personal one - I know that and I'm working on it). I don't agree with the nanny state proposals I've heard recommending taxing high fat foods. Nor do I agree with the blame culture which suggests that smokers and the obese should not have NHS treatment. Where does that end? There are many ways of blaming people for their condition. Still, I'm uneasy when it seems that people do not take responsibility for their own health.

  3. It's not rocket science to figure out how he got that fat!

    My son is on steroids, permenantly! Yes, they have a side effect of increasing the appetite but anyone with an IQ in double figures should be able to realise that you can't just eat without it having some effect on weight!

    I am overweight. I think I come in to the obese category when looking at BMIs. I know that it is because I take in too many calories for my body's needs. That is why I joined a gym and am trying to make changes!

    One of my relatives had to wait years for a specially adapted house to be ready for her. Yes it was a council house. She had a debilitating, degenerative condition through no fault of her own. Where is the justice? By the time her house was ready she was too disabled to really enjoy it to the full! Who should the money be spent on first? Those whose need is self inflicted or those who need assistance because life has thrown them a curve ball?

    I know my view will be unpopular but it is my opinion and I am entitled to it. Politically correct or not!

  4. Unfortunately the worlds fattest man lives in the next county

    and while I'm waiting for an operation that will drastically improve my life and have had the medication withdrawn that also improves my life (a criminal £80 per injection per month and a perscription that I pay for!)

    This man is have tens of thousands of pounds of NHS money spent on his own self inflicted obesity.

    I know have to suffer increased pain and dibilitating illness while on an NHS waiting list and even my consultant has said it's going to get worse before the operation.

    So do I reach for a doughnut!! No I reach for a repeat perscription that costs me £28 a month as this fat no hoper gets his free!!
    Were's the justice....

  5. Obesity is a big problem (no pun intended) and I do think help should be given to anyone who wants to get fitter through losing weight, stopping smoking or giving up drugs.

    I think in the UK we have a snack culture like the Americans. Continental Europe seems to have less of a problem as family meals are still ingrained in the culture. Perhaps if you're sat with your family eating you won't binge eat or mum or dad might tell you off for being greedy.

    But here and in the states, family members tend to eat separately and at different times. This lifestyle encourages unhealthy convenience food. Bring back family meals around the dinner table and stop snacking beteween meals... Problem solved.

  6. It is a sad state of affairs that instead of addressing the problem we just throw money at it. I too struggle to lose weight but I do try my best not to overindulge all of the time xx

  7. Is it bad taste to suggest he spends a couple of months in hospital - it should sort out his problem!.

  8. You have to feel so sorry for anybody who has become so obese, I am sure when he was a young boy, and would lay in bed at night, his hopes and dreams did not contain, "oh please let me become obese when I grow up", I am sure he had brighter hopes for his future than that.

    Something that has always puzzled me about obese people who are confined to bed, who brings them their food, surely anybody looking after him should be giving him healthier food and smaller portions.

  9. Well spoken Lucy McCleod. Not though a universally popular message I have found. Recently became involved in quite a spat on Facebook about a 'fat tax' for fatties who are to be forced to buy two airline tickets if they can't fit into one seat.

    Seems perfectly reasonable to me, but the howls of protest from Across the Pond were - well - huge. "It's a disease", "It's all genetic", "You're being 'fattist'" - well yes I jolly well was.

    Bottom line - "It's not our fault, we are victims" etc., etc. Quite nauseating really.

  10. There have been a few programmes on TV about extremely obese people and in all cases there seems to be a parent or spouse supplying high calorie food. One boy was hospitalised and placed on a strict diet. What did his mother do? Sneak in burgers for him! in the end the consultant threw his hands up in dispair and the boy was discharged.
    I know I'm overweight myself, but like others, I am doing something about it, and keep my exercise levels up. I cannot imagine ever letting myself go to the point that I couldn't get up or pass through a door. Mind you, if I did, Mr PS would probably leave me there until I had lost enough weight!

    XTM, Are you happy with the log burner? We had one installed 12 months ago, and we love it. To start with though we fed it too many logs and later in the evening it was way too hot. We were slowly backing the sofa away accross the room!
    We wish we had done it years ago. They are so easy to clean, there's no dust, or smoke blowing back down the chimney, and we only use a small basket of logs per evening.
    I'm sure Whisky has already found the purrfect spot in front of it.
    Best wishes,
    PS Great news about Harridan Harperson

  11. There's always an accomplice. No one gets that big without help. The mans wife looked hefty to me Wichita suggests the couple have a poor diet and eating problems.

    PoohSticks: I love the log burner but I'm still cross about the price. We got lots of prices but they were all much the same. Why does it cost so much to fit when the materials are cheap and it only took two men half a day to fit? Whisky is still suspicious and kept away from it last night. We'll see what happens this evening after he's had a share of our homemade fish pie. He may well sleep it off in front of the fire.

  12. XTM,
    We were very lucky and had log burner fitted very cheaply. Like you we had a few quotes and couldn't understand why they were so high. We were told we would have to pay ££ just for some guy to come out and look at our existing fireplace, and then we would need a flue liner, all in all over £2000. Fortunately, I tried one more guy. He was retired, and worked alone. He laid the hearth, plastered the walls and installed the fire (no liner required) for £300.
    Some companies must be making a mint out of this business.

  13. The UK isn't all that bad. It could be worse. Have a look at

  14. My stepson is very handy and just got a log burner from a salvage place and fitted it himself. At a total cost of about £50. Yo for manual skills. He's now turning his hand to thatching, another dying art...

  15. I'm fat.

    25 stone (you do the maths) and i've just lost two stone by cutting out pastry and all snacks inbetween meals.

    I still enjoy chips (once a week) and even chocolate (kept in the freezer so i can't eat too much at once!)

    I only use skimmed milk, and now check every label before putting it back or in my shopping trolly. I won't even eat rice krispies anymore as the second ingrediant is suger...

    If i can lose two stone without having to jog/try too hard anyone can.

    And i agree, if i want to fly, and i'm too fat for one seat, i should buy two tickets.

  16. Don't which is worse - the man in the picture and the one in Norfolk, or a picture of Victoria 'I'm naturally thin' extreme to the other. Both eating disordered and needing psychiatric help.

  17. This posting has produced some great responses and good debate. I'm impressed with you lot. I think it goes to show what a complex issue food can be, whether at home, work, school or hospital.

    PS: Can't wait to try that tortilla/Spanish omelette recipe.

  18. Traction Man said...

    There's always an accomplice. No one gets that big without help. The mans wife looked hefty to me Wichita suggests the couple have a poor diet and eating problems.

    Excess eating problems. Obese fat people need a lifestyle change. 5 Months ago I had a foot operation and sitting at home with my feet propped up only made me gain weight. Since returning to work at in October, i've lost it. Imagine carrying many sacks of concrete everywhere you go, it must feel awful being that big which is why I can't understand why they don't try harder to shift it. They seem to go into a default, I can't do it so I won't bother mode. They need to think positively.