Bed-ridden fat people

A thread I posted in GQ caused me to think of another variation.

Occasionally we hear reports of a very large fat person (typically 600+ pounds) who has become bed-ridden as the result of their size.

Am I missing something here?

Once you become bed-ridden, doesn’t someone have to continue over-feeding you, since you can’t get up and get it yourself.

(I realize that once you can’t move, your sedentary lifestyle might cause a change in your metabolism, but still over-feeding is over-feeding, whether it’s a loaf of toast or just half a loaf.)

I’ve wondered the same thing. When I was a kid I went to a circus that included an incredibly large guy and I went to his exhibit area. He really looked like a waterbed with a head. And, since he obviously had zip mobility, why wasn’t he losing enough weight to get down to get up and get to the fridge trim?

How on earth do people get that large? Fighting weight is one thing - and a common thing - but we’re talking extremes here. When I drove a cab we had a guy we called Heavy-Duty. You could knock off his hack at a distance because it was leaning to the left. I’d estimate he was pretty close to 350# and was at the limit of remaining mobile.

Once you pass that, somebody’s stoking the fires for you, I guess.

I disagree that for most people weighing 350 is getting close to limiting mobility. Lots of football players (sumo wrestlers even!) run, tackle, and sweat it out on the field. I know several people over 400 pounds who work hard every day. I even know a 600 pound man who runs a very lucrative business. He can no longer drive (not due to weight but narcolepsy) but he still manages to get around and do his own daily tasks while bossing everyone else around.

BTW, I am not suggesting everyone should just take to the couch with a garbage bag full of Cheetos. I’m just saying that a lot of really obese people manage in everyday life just like you and me. Once a certain weight is attained, just a “regular” number of calories would be required to maintain the weight. A reduction in calories would be needed to lose weight.

We had such a case last year, the man weighed 800 LBS and they had to take down a wall of his house and use a forklift to get him out. The sad thing about it was when during an interview in the home you could see empty bags of potato chips, boxes of donuts ect… How could supposed loved ones keep feeding him like this?

Precisely. This is the most obvious example of addiction being a family disease. The ones who keep feeding are obviously as much in need of treatment as the ones who keep eating. Codependence at its extreme.

My friend Rick, weighed over 800 lbs and got around fine. He even drove a small car; although, the steering wheel was pinned into his stomach. He had a gastro-intestinal bypass and is now down to around 260 lbs. My current boyfriend is 320 lbs or so but he is fairly tall (6’3").

I had a big argument on a mailing list I belong to about fat people. I know this is off topic, but it basically stated that being fat is not the problem. Being sedentary is. Most of the supposedly fat related diseases don’t stem from being overweight but from not moving around. Another poster said that all fat men were impotent, which just isn’t true. I posted several links stating otherwise. If anyone is interested, I will post them here.

I also find it very rude to make fun of fat people in any way. Severely obese people don’t choose to be that way. Usually being severely overweight (500+lbs) is a result of glandular problems like diabetes or genetics. Studies have shown that people can breed genetically fat rats and mice. History proves that we can raise genetically fat pigs. (Wild pigs are significantly thinner than domestic pigs.) So being fat is not really a choice. Of course exercise and diet can allow people to lose weight, but overall dieting is not really good for you. Most (not all) diets require that you lower your caloric intake to below 900 calories a day. That is below the point where your body goes into starvation mode and will start consuming itself (fat, bone, and muscle). I know that is the point of dieting, but after a person ends the diet, the body thinks it should save up more fat than it had before so it won’t starve again. That is why most people who end a diet gain back the weight they lost and in many cases more. If you really want to lose weight, the best way is to have a normal caloric intake (around 2000 or so) and do some moderate exercising (like walking a couple miles a day). If you want to be in a body builder shape, do all the requisite exercises, but many body builders bulk up and have diets that far excede anything that the majority of the fat people I know eat (5000+ calories). I must point out that most of the large people I know eat less than I typically do. My current boyfriend, eats two mid sized meals a day and drinks 2 20 oz diet cokes. He doesn’t eat dessert usually, and doesn’t snack throughout the day. I typically eat more than him at any sitting. Also, we walk a lot, sometimes swim, and rollerblade. He is pretty healthy overall and has just as much stamina, if not more, than I do. All this said, He still does not lose weight. This is because he has a glandular problem (diabetes) not because he is overfed. (Like I said earlier, he eats less than me, usually.) I see how in some extreme cases it could be be a family problem as TennHippie suggested, but this is not really the norm for moderately obese people.

My $0.02

Gasoline: As an accompaniement to cereal it made a refreshing change. Glen Baxter

I’ve got the solution…we should simply calculate the weight a person needs to be in order to, given a consistent level of actvity, use up sufficient energy moving their own body around to offset the excess calories ingested. Hey presto! A target weight higher than your current, which you need to achieve! Sounds too good to be true… :wink:

A few points to clarify.

  1. Sumo wrestlers are very very athletic. They are quicker and stronger than most any other athletes.

  2. Sqrlcub- I would agree that moderately overweight people might have a glandular problem that increases their weight. And your man is a perfect example. But to the OP, a really really fat person gets alot of help. I was watching a show and this man said he ate 4 FULL BAKED POTATOES for breakfast. Along with eggs and ham and a gallon of juice and a box of cereal. he couldn’t understand why he was getting fatter. He was eating good food. BUT IT WAS WAY TOO FARKING MUCH. Its not glandular and it usually isnt. A Person so obese they can’t get out of bed I would bet would need to ingest 12,000 calories a day just to maintain. But lets ask Sue from El Paso she’ll know!


I’m not a shrimp, I’m a King Prawn.
-Pepe the Prawn

I have to say I really can’t believe that there are many athletes who could not out-run a sumo wrestler.

The thing is, you don’t need to eat 12,000 calories to maintain a 700 pound bulk. Fat doesn’t burn calories - only your 150 pounds of muscle will do that for you. So you are still looking at around a 2000 calorie diet to maintain your weight, given moderate excericise. Of course, you aren’t excercising much if you can’t get out of bed. Your metabolism bedridden will slow to a crawl, you might burn 900 calories a day or even less.

Obviously, it would take a very long time of this kind of eating before you could get truly obese, which is why the people who weigh 700 pounds necessarily eat like was just discribed. However, even if this guy stopped eating so much he would not lose weight.

The only way to lose weight is regular aerobic excercise. This means 3-4 days a week, spending 20 minutes at your target heart rate (or 80% of it if you are new to excercise). Anything else you do, any diet is at best going to have short time results because your body will adjust to the new calorie intake, your metabolism will slow and you will feel sluggish all day long. If you can’t find 4 hours a week to spend saving your life then you need to reexamine your priorities.

This is patently untrue. If you eat nothing for a month you [ITALIC]will[/ITALIC] lose weight.

Bollocks. Screwed up again!

But getting back to the OP. I don’t have the answer but I would think that if you had gotten to be that obese, you would have a bunch of other problems. Say heart, blood pressure, maybe diabetes or poor circulation. Wouldn’t it be just as hurtful to stop eating? Could this not maybe persipitate a heart problem or and electrolyte imbalance? Just wondering?

That’s exactly why the starvation diets – the 600-calorie or less things like the one Oprah did the first time – have gone out of fashion. They not only don’t work long-term, they are exceedingly dangerous. Dehydration, skin problems and hair loss being among the milder side effects, and renal failure and sudden cardiac death distinct possibilities.


I have seen news coverage about these stay-at-home fat people, and yes, it is true. Sometimes their families are “enablers”. I mean, how can anyone rationalize giving their 600 lb. loved one an entire carton of eggs, or a loaf of bread, what have you, for breakfast? They know it is not normal. (They must - unless they eat that much themselves!) So many of these people do not get fat on their own.

I also agree that starvation diets are very unhealthy, and even make the weight more stubborn to come off in the future. I have heard of fat people who have basically “dieted themselves” to a very large size. They go on a starvation diet, lose lots of weight. Gain it back when they go back to a “normal” diet, and a few extra pounds to boot. Do this a few times, and you’ve got a VERY fat person after a while. Better (in some cases) to quit while you’re ahead, and just maintain - not gain, not lose.

I also saw on TV (I think it was a Richard Simmons infomercial) that even fat people can exercise. They can wave their arms around for a while as they sit in bed. ANYTHING. It’s better than nothing, and it will eventually make a difference.

I know about enablers. I know I left out some instances of fat people getting fat because their family and friends help them. In the gay chub community there is a faction of men called gainers and enablers. They are exactly as they sound: gainers want to gain weight and enablers want people to gain weight. As everyone here already knows, I really like larger men but I don’t want them to become sedentary. I want someone who will be able to spend a long life with me. I find this attitude to be wrong not only the person gaining weight but the person who encourages others to gain weight to obese proportions.

I realize now that the OP of this thread was referring to severely obese and sedantary individuals. Not people who are still independant. Although the weight were most people lose independance is usually closer to 900 lbs than 600 (depending on the individual).

After you get to a certain weight you don’t have to eat as much to maintain it. Some people do as Frankie and others mentioned. They are more likely gaining extra weight, but who can tell after you get to a certain point. Even the maximum weight on the bathroom scales designed for large people tend not to go over 400 lbs. I have seen one that went to 500 but the man that had it was very wealthy and had it built especially for him.

As I said earlier, moderate exercise, and mobility are a must. The person in question has to move around or they will develop other problems that most people associate with fat people but are really side effects of sedementarianism.


Gasoline: As an accompaniement to cereal it made a refreshing change. Glen Baxter

Android can you not read an entire paragraph? I said anything else would have at best short-term results.

One thing that I have always wondered about, is how do they afford to buy so much groceries? They ain’t cheap! My guess would be that they are on some kind of disability pension due to being bedridden and unable to work. If so, how can that little check support their eating?

Please tell your pants it’s not polite to point.