10 heaviest people in the world

PHOTO: 10 heaviest people in the world

While most of us fret about an extra kilo or two once in a while, for some, their struggle with weight is in an entirely different league.

For these people, they are talking about hundreds of kilos - and their battle is not just with the flab, it's a life or death struggle.

Often they know that their condition will lead eventually to their death if they continue, but find it nearly impossible to curb their eating addiction.

Or for others, it may be due to a genetic predisposition to obesity.

Research has shown that there is an enormous price to pay for obesity, among these include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers of the endometrial, colon and breast, liver and gallbladder disease, and degeneration of cartilage and bone.

It can even cause sleep apnea and respiratory problems, and the sufferer may just pass away in his or her sleep.

Whatever the case, the good news is that in many cases, the condition is treatable.

Other than healthy living with a good diet and plenty of exercise, there are also medications one can take and surgical procedures that can remove excess weight or curb appetite.

1. Paul Mason

Paul Mason, 51, was once considered the world's fattest man, weighing in at a shocking 980 pounds (444.5kg). He used to consume 20,000 calories a day, which is 10 times what a normal man consumes.

He said he knew it was killing him but he could not stop. It started when he suffered a heartbreak in his twenties at the time of his father's death and the deterioration of his mother's health.

Jobless, he still managed to spend a whopping 30,000 pounds (S$46,000) a year on food.

He was told to undergo a gastric bypass or risk a certain death. After surgery, he went down to 560 pounds (181kg).

Now he is looking to have the rolls of unsightly excess skin from the weight loss removed.

2. Donna Simpson

Donna Simpson, 45, is an American woman who in 2008 announced that she wanted to become one of the world's heaviest women.

Her ideal weight was 1,000 pounds (450kg), and she set up a website where fans paid to watch her eat.

In 2008, she weighed 630 pounds (290kg), but her weight went down to 602 pounds (273kg) in 2010.

In 2010, she won the dubious honour of Guinness World Record holder for the "heaviest woman to give birth" when she had a baby named Jacqueline via cesarean section.

The birth of the baby required a team of 30 doctors. She now has a son and daughter with her partner, Phillippe Gouamba, whom she met on an online chat room for overweight women.

In August 2011, Simpson finally decided to go on a diet to decrease her weight to 370 pounds (170kg) as she said she wanted to be more self-sufficient and do a better job of raising her children.

3. Manuel Uribe

Born in 1965 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Manuel Uribe is known for having ballooned to the weight of six men.

On a diet of tacos and pizzas, he reached a peak weight of around 597kg, and was bed bound since 2001.

His mother looked after his every need, but he aspired to one day leave the room and venture outside into the world.

When he was growing up, Manuel said he was normal. He was born, he weighed a very average 7.5 pounds. He always had a big appetite, but it wasn't until he hit his twenties when his problems began.

In 1927, he got married and moved to the US for work. When he left, his weight was 280 pounds (127kg). He said life in the US was very sedentary. He only moved from his home to his desk, where he sat at his desk the whole day.

Combined with the fast food diet of the US, his weight ballooned 550 pounds (249kg). 

He began developing a growth on his right thigh, restricting his movement.

With the help of doctors and nutritionist, he reduced his weight to 360kg (790lb). His weight loss efforts continues to this day.

In mid 2009, it was falsely reported that Manuel had died. As of February 2012, he weighed 440 lb (200kg).

4. Robert Earl Hughes

The late Rober Earl Hughes was during his lifetime, the heaviest human recorded in the history of the world.

Born in 1958, his excessive weight was attributed to a malfunctioning pituitary gland, and he tipped the scales at 480kg at his heaviest.

At the age of six years, he weighed 92kg, and at ten, he weighed 171kg.

When he passed away in 1926, he weighed over half a ton. He had contracted measles, which soon developed into uremia. He was 32-years-old when he died.

All his life a show man who appeared at carnivals and fairs, his coffin also made a statement. He was buried in a coffin the size of a piano case.

5. Kenneth Brumley

Kenneth Brumley gained the attention of the world when he appeared in Channel 4 BodyShock documentary "Half Ton Dad".

A father of four, he weighed almost 468kg, and had been bed bound for four years.

He was later accepted as a gastric bypass patient at the Renaissance Hospital in Houston, Texas. However, to get him out of the house to the hospital, a fire crew had to demolish a wall to pull him out.

His first step in his treatment was to restrict him to a diet of 1,200 calories a day. On the diet, he lost 76kg in 40 days.

Doctors had to do the gastric bypass in stages, in addition to removing 18kg tumours from between his legs. Each surgical removal lasted about 5 hours.

By the end of the documentary, he was able to stand on his own two feet, even if only for a few seconds.

6. Michael Hebranko

Michael Hebranko's story is amazing in that during his lifetime, he gained and lost over 3,000 pounds (1,360kg), and gained a special mention by talk show host Oprah, as well as the attention of celebrity fitness coach Richard Simmons.

At 34, his weight reached the peak of 1,100 pounds (498kg).

"I have eaten 24 pork chops, 2 pounds of bacon, three dozen eggs at one sitting," he said.

He eventually reached rock bottom and lost his will to live. Once, he put a gun into his mouth, and almost pulled the trigger. '

However, he instead wrote a letter to weight loss personality Richard Simmons. 

Richard then lost a world record setting weight loss of more than 700 pounds (317kg) in  19 months. However, in his celebratory meals following his astounding weight loss, he quickly shot back up to weighing almost 1,000 pounds (453kg).

His yo-yo weight loss story continued, and he had to be repeatedly hospitalised. He now resides in New York and weighs 550 pounds (249kg).

7. Mayra Rosales

Mayra Rosales made headline when she was accused of murdering her sister's son - but walked free when the court decided that she was "too big to kill".

Rosales, 31, from Texas said her defence was that she could not even have lifted her arm to strike her nephew, being as fat as she was.

Two-year-old Eliso Jr died in 2008, and 495kg Rosales claimed she caused his death when she fell onto him.

However, investigations revealed that his death was due to a blow to the head. Rosales then confessed that she had invented the story to protect her sister Jamie, whom she said had hit the boy on the head with a hairbrush several times earlier in the day.

Jamie later pleaded guilty to causing injury to a child, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The stress of the events caused Rosales' health to deteriorate to the point that she had to be hospitalised. She said she began retaining so much water in her legs that her skin stretched and developed sores - causing her immense pain.

She has suffered chronic skin infections caused by the multiple folds of fat around her body. Doctors have attempted to treat her by removing much of the fat and litres of fluid from her body.

8. Jon Brower Minnoch

Jon Brower Minnoch lived from 1941 to 1983, and weighed probably more than 635kg.

It took 13 people just to roll him over in bed, and he suffered from massive edema - the collection of fluid in the body's tissues.

Edema is suffered by many obese people, and at Minnoch's peak, his body retained at least 408kg of fluid.

He had spent a better part of his life battling weight, having been heavy all his life. In 1963, he was 317kg. In 1966, he was 442kg.

He was hospitalised at age 37 due to cardiac and respiratory failure, and was discharged from the hospital after 16 months on a strict diet of 1,200 calories per day.

He passed away on September 10, weighing 362kg, and leaving behind two children by his 50kg wife Jeanette. The couple had reportedly won a world record for the greatest dispartity in weight between husband and wife.

9. Terri Smith

'Diet or die': This was what mother-of-one Terri Smith was told when doctors found out she weighed a hefty 317kg.

Suffering from intense headaches and needing a brain scan, she was too huge to fit into an MRI machine.

Bedbound for at least three years, the 49-year-old woman required the assistance of her husband Myron and her eldest daughter Najah, 30 to do anything.

Smith said she had always been large. At age seven, she weighed almost 51kg.

She said she grew up on "soul food" and never thought twice about it - as it was everybody was doing.

"We never watched what we ate at all and we didn't know what was healthy and what wasn't,' she told the Daily Mail UK.

When she turned 32, she developed severe arthritis in her knees and couldn't walk for more than a few steps, causing the weight to pile on. In addition, after her diuretic medication was changed, she gained a whopping 41kg in 30 days.

Smith is now embarking on a weight loss regiment of a healthy diet and exercise, in a bid to qualify for gastric bypass.

10. Dzhambik Khatokhov

Known as Jambik, an 11-year-old boy from Russia weighs 147kg at height 157.5cm, setting the world record for the fattest child in the world.

At birth, he weighed 2.89kg, which is a reasonable weight for a baby. However, by the time he reached a year old, he weighed 12.7kg, and at age three, he was lifting weights as heavy as 3kg.

At age six, he was 71kg, and since then he has gained nearly 50kg on a diet of porridge and ice cream.

His mother Nelya doesn't believe that his weight is cause for concern. She said that Jambik is "just growing", and that that's how "God created him".

However, Jambik is an active child, who practises wrestling five days a week and goes swimming often. He said that he want to be a sportsman when he grows up, or even an Olympic champion.

"I like to be strong," he said.