Obese man's YouTube plea: Help me lose weight

PHOTO: Obese man's YouTube plea: Help me lose weight

"For anybody who is going to make fun of me, I really don't care. This is my last hope," was the plea of Mr Robert Gibbs, 23, who is so fat he has diabetes at his young age, cannot stand for more than a few minutes and suffers from sores all over his body.

In fear for his life, he posted a three-minute YouTube video begging anybody - nutritionist, physical trainer, Biggest Loser (a reality television show), anybody really - to help him lose weight, and in the process save his life.

In a matter of days, the video attracted over 900,000 views.

Now, the morbidly obese man whose tearful, videotaped plea for help became a YouTube sensation may be getting the support he wanted.

The Dr Phil show reached out to Mr Gibbs, a California resident, after he posted the clip last week.

The TV show, which is hosted by Dr Phil McGraw and shown throughout the US, covers a variety of topics including weight loss and autism.

Mr Gibbs mentioned the programme in his clip, which has been viewed more than a million times and inspired many recorded responses from viewers offering diet tips and encouragement.

A crew from the Dr Phil show was scheduled to visit his house and film him yesterday, Mr Gibbs told AP.

A day shy of 23-years-old

His birthday

On the YouTube video, which he made the day before his birthday last Friday, he said he hoped that someone knowledgeable about weight loss would see it and get in touch with him.

He said he feared he would not live long enough to see his nephew and niece grow up or to have a family of his own.

"I just had a nephew born on February 15, I also have a niece who was born on August 16, 2007," he said.

He estimated his weight to be between 270kg and 315kg.

According to interviews, Mr Gibbs has been struggling with his weight since he was just four-years-old.

Today, he eats predominantly fast food for nutrition - reportedly two pizzas and two sodas a meal - partly to feed his addiction and partly because it is cheaper to do so.

He has grown so fat that it is a struggle to even get off his sofa, and his plainly furnished house is littered with trash.

Said Mr Gibbs on the video: “I’m making this video because I don’t know what else to do. For everyone who is just going to make fun of me, I really don’t care... This is my last chance, my last hope.”

"'Please repost this video," he begged.

"Get it to go viral, get it to be one of the most watched videos ever, eventually someone will see it and then maybe I can get some help."

Choking back tears, he said the video could be his "last chance".


Tried everything

Tried everything

Mr Gibbs lives with his mother and sister in Livermore, California.

His sister, Miss Nichole Gibbs, said that she didn’t know her brother made the video until reporters began calling to interview her.

She told Mercury News: “I’m happy he’s doing this... It’s going to help him and I’m glad for that.”

Mr Gibbs declined to be interviewed by AP because he said he had an exclusivity agreement with Dr Phil.

Besides suffering from diabetes, Mr Gibbs has sores all over his body and cannot stand for more than a few minutes at a time, KCBS-TV said.

He spends his days watching TV.

He said: “I’ve tried losing weight on my own. Tried doing everything possible: Been on diets, been hospitalised, and I’ve always done what needed to be done at the time and I’d just gain the weight back.”

Mr Chris Powell, a fitness trainer on the reality show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, has also expressed interest in working with Mr Gibbs along with former contestants from The Biggest Loser.

Said Mr Gibbs: “I’d better start getting ready for the tornado that’s about to become my life. I guess it’s a good birthday for me.”

This article was first published in The New Paper.