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Old 06-13-2019, 01:22 AM
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How Can You Gain 278 lb. in 6 Weeks?!


Channel surfing at 1 AM and ran across "My 600-lb. Life" on TLC. The man started at about 900 lbs. He had gastric sleeve surgery a year or so before but gained the weight back. They worked with him again in a rehab facility to lose 500 lbs. Then he was sent home for 2 months. He was supervised for the first 2 weeks by helpers. Left on his own after that he somehow gains 278 lbs. in 6 weeks. How is this even possible? How many calories would you have to consume on a daily basis to gain that much in such a short time? Is there a point where the human body just can't absorb any more nutrients or fat in a day?
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:58 AM
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Assuming he was about 500 lbs at the start of the 6 weeks, using the 3,500kcal=1lb consensus, and factoring that he would need about 4400 calories per day to maintain his current weight, he would have had to consume roughly 1,157,800 calories--27,567 per day. That's certainly doable for someone with a large appetite who eats a lot of junk food and drinks a lot of soda. It's got to be awfully expensive, though.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
Assuming he was about 500 lbs at the start of the 6 weeks, using the 3,500kcal=1lb consensus, and factoring that he would need about 4400 calories per day to maintain his current weight, he would have had to consume roughly 1,157,800 calories--27,567 per day. That's certainly doable for someone with a large appetite who eats a lot of junk food and drinks a lot of soda. It's got to be awfully expensive, though.
If he avoids eating out and prepared foods he could do it relatively cheaply - especially if he goes full junk food. Even if he went somewhat healthier and, say, split his intake between rice, whole milk, peanut butter, and eggs, he's looking at about $16 a day.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
Assuming he was about 500 lbs at the start of the 6 weeks, using the 3,500kcal=1lb consensus, and factoring that he would need about 4400 calories per day to maintain his current weight, he would have had to consume roughly 1,157,800 calories--27,567 per day. That's certainly doable for someone with a large appetite who eats a lot of junk food and drinks a lot of soda. It's got to be awfully expensive, though.
Really? I thought it had to be more. I didn't catch details of his preferred foods. He said he ate, "whatever looked good" and had an app for getting all his food delivered. I guess nothing was out of reach once most grocery stores and fast food places got some kind of delivery option.

His name was Sean Milliken. Apparently he died back in Feb. of this year of complications from an infection or something.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:54 AM
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Even if he went somewhat healthier and, say, split his intake between rice, whole milk, peanut butter, and eggs, he's looking at about $16 a day.
I assumed that this was nonsense, so I checked the Walmart site.

And, indeed you can buy 5 lbs of peanut butter, 10 lbs of rice, 2 gallons of milk and 3 dozen eggs for less than $16. How you would consume that lot I dread to think.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:55 AM
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I would assume a lot of the people on that show are on disability. They never seem to show them working or doing hobbies. So whatever money they have would go towards food no matter what it costs because they are addicted to food or food is the only thing that gives them pleasure.

Another part of the really fast weight gain is water weight. Eating loads of salty food makes you retain water plus edema caused by heart problems.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
...he would have had to consume roughly 1,157,800 calories--27,567 per day.
Wow. I don't think I could consume 5,000 calories a day if I tried.

ETA: Maybe if someone invented chocolate flavored butter sticks.

Last edited by Hermitian; 06-13-2019 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:09 AM
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I assumed that this was nonsense, so I checked the Walmart site.

And, indeed you can buy 5 lbs of peanut butter, 10 lbs of rice, 2 gallons of milk and 3 dozen eggs for less than $16. How you would consume that lot I dread to think.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:38 AM
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Wow. I don't think I could consume 5,000 calories a day if I tried.

ETA: Maybe if someone invented chocolate flavored butter sticks.
Probably easier than you realize, but keeping that pace up would be tougher than you think.

5000 calories is basically eating the largest/most calorific thing every single meal- you'd have to average 1666 calories per meal, or maybe 1000 per meal (still a lot!) and snack away 1800 calories.

27000 is insane. That's the equivalent of nineteen Chili's Oldtimers w/cheese, fries and a Coke meals. Or 25 Big Mac/med fries/med drink meals. Or 337 hot wings.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:41 AM
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Imagine the size of his dumps.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:45 AM
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There were stories before the Olympics about ten years ago that the swimmer Michael Phelps was on a 12,000 calorie diet, because he was spending five or six hours in the pool each day. And that was considered extraordinary. 27,000 calories a day for a sedentary person sounds unlikely. Even impossible.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:50 AM
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27000 is insane. That's the equivalent of nineteen Chili's Oldtimers w/cheese, fries and a Coke meals. Or 25 Big Mac/med fries/med drink meals. Or 337 hot wings.
I am a dainty 360lb or so and I cannot imagine eating 25 big macs in a day, 6-8, I can imagine.

25....my stomach hurts just thinking about it.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:50 AM
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Another part of the really fast weight gain is water weight. Eating loads of salty food makes you retain water plus edema caused by heart problems.
This deserves emphasis. I would wager that the majority of the weight gain was edema from marginal kidneys/bad heart/poor vasculature/prescription noncompliance. Not to say that he couldn't have been mainlining peanut butter, but it's a lot easier to gain 46 pounds a week by retaining about a gallon of fluid a day. That still requires a prodigious fluid intake, but it's doable if you're slaking the thirst from a lot of salty food.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:03 AM
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I was thinking about the "output." If I overeat even one day, the next day I'm sitting on the toilet a lot. Like was posted above, how much do such people poop out every day?
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:04 AM
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This deserves emphasis. I would wager that the majority of the weight gain was edema from marginal kidneys/bad heart/poor vasculature/prescription noncompliance. Not to say that he couldn't have been mainlining peanut butter, but it's a lot easier to gain 46 pounds a week by retaining about a gallon of fluid a day. That still requires a prodigious fluid intake, but it's doable if you're slaking the thirst from a lot of salty food.
and especially if you do it by drinking sugared soft drinks. a 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew is almost 300 calories, and I know people who guzzle that stuff like crazy.

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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
I was thinking about the "output." If I overeat even one day, the next day I'm sitting on the toilet a lot. Like was posted above, how much do such people poop out every day?
I don't know if it would be that much more. you excrete the stuff you eat that your body doesnt either burn or store as fat, along with stuff like used up red blood cells. Of the calories you eat, you exhale the ones your body uses to fuel itself and the excess is stored. so unless the mountain of food you're gorging on has a corresponding increase in stuff like fiber, there's not likely to be a corresponding increase in, er, "output." at least I wouldn't think.

Last edited by jz78817; 06-13-2019 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:06 AM
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There were stories before the Olympics about ten years ago that the swimmer Michael Phelps was on a 12,000 calorie diet, because he was spending five or six hours in the pool each day. And that was considered extraordinary. 27,000 calories a day for a sedentary person sounds unlikely. Even impossible.
And those numbers were not accurate. He ate between 8000 and 10000 calories per day, for a short period of time.

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/06/mic...to-10000-quote

Tour de France riders consume 5-7000 calories per day for 3 weeks, a difficult task and one that leads to all sorts of problems for the riders.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:08 AM
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You gotta realize this guy's stomach is probably 3x bigger than yours, or more.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by tricoteuse View Post

Another part of the really fast weight gain is water weight. Eating loads of salty food makes you retain water plus edema caused by heart problems.
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This deserves emphasis. I would wager that the majority of the weight gain was edema from marginal kidneys/bad heart/poor vasculature/prescription noncompliance. Not to say that he couldn't have been mainlining peanut butter, but it's a lot easier to gain 46 pounds a week by retaining about a gallon of fluid a day. That still requires a prodigious fluid intake, but it's doable if you're slaking the thirst from a lot of salty food.
Exactly.
Similarly, fast weight loss is a lot of water. The reality show may have had him cutting weight by reducing water so that his total weight loss was exaggerated for the show at his weigh-ins.

Last edited by Sparky812; 06-13-2019 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:43 AM
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My cousin gained about 40 lbs of water weight in about 4 days earlier this year. He was already 400 lbs. at the time, and the gain was due to, I think, prescription and OTC drug combinations and vascular issues.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:07 AM
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I was thinking about the "output." If I overeat even one day, the next day I'm sitting on the toilet a lot. Like was posted above, how much do such people poop out every day?
It's probably not a major part of his weight gain, but people who weigh that much are likely to have mobility issues, to say the least, and thus it is going to be difficult for them to make it to the toilet. Thus they may not "poop every day" or even close to it. Their intestinal mobility may be as messed up as the rest of their metabolism. They are not necessarily paying any more attention to the internal signals of "I have to poop" than they do to the internal signals of "I'm full - stop eating".

Although I expect most of the weight gain is fluid.

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Old 06-13-2019, 11:38 AM
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I would assume a lot of the people on that show are on disability. They never seem to show them working or doing hobbies. <snip>

Another part of the really fast weight gain is water weight. Eating loads of salty food makes you retain water plus edema caused by heart problems.
I think it's also because a lot of them have extreme mobility issues. From trouble walking to being unable to get out of bed/ the house. I hadn't thought fluid retention. That's an unreal amount of fluid, though. How much time would you have to devote to eating and drinking to get all that in?

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You gotta realize this guy's stomach is probably 3x bigger than yours, or more.
He had gastric sleeve surgery a year or two before this. How far can the pouch and intestines stretch before they just rupture? I can't wrap my head around how he consumed it all without something blowing out.

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Exactly.
Similarly, fast weight loss is a lot of water. The reality show may have had him cutting weight by reducing water so that his total weight loss was exaggerated for the show at his weigh-ins.
It's not a "Biggest Loser" type game show. Far as I know, the Dr. only gives calorie restrictions. From 600 to 1200 calories a day, depending on starting weight. It's up to the patient to lose the weight or not most of the time. Sometimes he'll put them into the hospital/physical rehab facility to limit access to food. I read a couple of articles about the guy and the show this morning. The majority of them fail to meet the goals he sets at first and some never do. Some get their act together and lose enough to qualify weight loss surgery. At first this guy gained instead of losing and got up to 1003lbs. He lost enough to get the surgery then gained back up to 900. The Dr. put him into rehab and got him back into the 400's. He gained the 278 during 6 unsupervised weeks at home. They put him back in rehab where he died.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:12 PM
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In magazines you can find ads for powders to be mixed in a blender promising "650 Calories per Serving!" and similar.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:26 PM
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Wow. I don't think I could consume 5,000 calories a day if I tried.
I could do it, if I was determined enough, I suppose. At least for a few days.

Consuming a net 6.6 pounds of matter over the course of one day strikes me as a bit more of a challenge.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:36 PM
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I think it's also because a lot of them have extreme mobility issues. From trouble walking to being unable to get out of bed/ the house. I hadn't thought fluid retention. That's an unreal amount of fluid, though. How much time would you have to devote to eating and drinking to get all that in?
My brother ended up in the ER with congestive heart failure. It was the middle of December. At Thanksgiving he was puffy but a couple of weeks later he was so bloated up he could barely walk. In the ER they tapped about 14 liters of fluid out of him. 4 liters is about a gallon. A gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds so that was nearly 30 pounds of fluid right there and then they had him on a lot of diuretics to get rid of more fluid. He was hardly eating or drinking anything before he went to the hospital and he lost maybe 60 pounds overall just of fluid because his heart and kidneys were so bad. for someone who was so much bigger to start with plus eating and drinking whatever he wanted I could see it happening very easily.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:51 PM
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I could do it, if I was determined enough, I suppose. At least for a few days.

Consuming a net 6.6 pounds of matter over the course of one day strikes me as a bit more of a challenge.
I have probably done it especially on holidays but I always feel awful afterwards and don't want to eat much at all for a few days after that.

On this show they show some of the people eating whole large pizzas in a sitting and a whole large pepperoni pizza from Domino's is 2,370 calories. Times 3 meals a day that is around 7000. Plus who knows how much else they eat or how many times. One woman had a plate that looked like a whole box of waffles with loads of syrup and butter and maybe 8 sausage patties and strawberries with a whole can of whipped cream. Some have enablers or family memebers who bring them the junk food they want because arguing with them doesn't work.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:45 PM
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I would assume a lot of the people on that show are on disability. They never seem to show them working or doing hobbies. So whatever money they have would go towards food no matter what it costs because they are addicted to food or food is the only thing that gives them pleasure.

Another part of the really fast weight gain is water weight. Eating loads of salty food makes you retain water plus edema caused by heart problems.
By the time someone gets like that, somebody has to bring them all that food, and probably buys it for them as well.

People with morbid obesity often have lymphedema, which is a form of water retention, and they may also have a condition called third spacing, where fluids accumulate outside the cells.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 06-13-2019 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:55 PM
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He had gastric sleeve surgery a year or two before this. How far can the pouch and intestines stretch before they just rupture? I can't wrap my head around how he consumed it all without something blowing out.
It's not uncommon for a person to re-stretch their gastric sleeve, or whatever method was done, or they resort to a liquid diet (which not uncommonly includes alcohol). I've definitely seen reports of people who successfully lost the weight, but some other addictive behavior took over - substance abuse, gambling, hoarding, etc.

Conversely, I have a friend who used to work at a substance abuse treatment center, and she said that it was very common for people to stop drinking or using drugs, and some other addictive behavior took over; men are more likely to gamble and women are more likely to develop eating disorders.

About 20 years ago, I worked briefly at a hospital that did bariatric surgery. The biggest obstacle was the psychiatric evaluation, and even if they passed that, it was not uncommon for the surgeon to still refuse to do it because he knew the person was not a good candidate for the surgery.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:11 PM
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It's not a "Biggest Loser" type game show. Far as I know, the Dr. only gives calorie restrictions. From 600 to 1200 calories a day, depending on starting weight.
Interesting- medically, why do they restrict them from the outset to so few calories? Someone with that carriage would lose weight at 5000 calories a day, why do they not start off with that? Three large pizzas a day instead of ten, as opposed to fruit and vegetables? A gradual reduction instead of cold turkey(!)?
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:22 PM
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That calorie restriction is done beforehand so the doctors can see if the person can do it, because the stomach is too small for them to eat any more than that without vomiting (and a surprising number of people won't mind that, as long as they can eat).
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:24 PM
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I am a dainty 360lb or so and I cannot imagine eating 25 big macs in a day, 6-8, I can imagine.

25....my stomach hurts just thinking about it.
It sounds better than 33 1/3 sticks of butter does...
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:59 PM
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There's a biggest loser style show on the BBC called Secret Eaters where they videotape the obese and superobese over a period of a few days then sit down and look at the calories they consumed. Most overweight people insist they don't eat much and don't snack that much (we would all play down the amount of junk food we consume and talk up all our healthy choices if we self-report) but the video shows them snacking on 2,000 calories several times a day.It's quite compelling TV actually
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:58 PM
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Wow. I don't think I could consume 5,000 calories a day if I tried.
I have w/o trying, but I do ultramarathons.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:56 AM
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Last year, I hosted a childhood friend who was passing through, and she told me that her second pregnancy was very complicated, and among other things, she was put on a 4,000-calorie diet. The only way she could do it was by drinking milkshakes, and by the time she gave birth, she weighed almost 300 pounds.

4,000 calories was the biggest calorie order I ever saw in a chart; it was for a person who weighed over 500 pounds and they wanted him/her to lose weight, but not too rapidly, and this was at least a start.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:54 AM
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Tour de France riders consume 5-7000 calories per day for 3 weeks, a difficult task and one that leads to all sorts of problems for the riders.
Their diet is not going to change all that much between training and the race. They usually do 100+ miles/day during training. And those guys are in training pretty much all year; the Tour is hardly the only race they ride in. They'll be consuming 5000 calories/day all year round.

I really doubt if their calorie consumption is causing any of the problems they have. Doing an extreme amount of exercise is more likely the cause.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:22 PM
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Interesting- medically, why do they restrict them from the outset to so few calories? Someone with that carriage would lose weight at 5000 calories a day, why do they not start off with that? Three large pizzas a day instead of ten, as opposed to fruit and vegetables? A gradual reduction instead of cold turkey(!)?
I read somewhere that even if you did nothing but breathe it takes 700 calories a day just to exist. For someone so large they can't get out of bed 600 would guarantee significant weight loss no matter what. The higher counts go to people who are still able to get up and move around.

Most of the people on this show are at a point where they don't have long to live if they keep going like they are. Not only do they weigh over 600lbs. they have a host of other medical problems. The point is get a large amount of weight off in enough time to save them. According to the Wiki this guy and 3 others died from physical health issues.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:56 AM
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Snopes on Dr. Atkins, who apparently gained 60 pounds the week before he died, while he was in a coma.
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