Weighing the same as five baby elephants and a shade less than a Mini Cooper, Patrick Deuel is one of the heaviest men ever and a medical miracle. His heart and other organs should have collapsed long before he reached his record-breaking weight of 76 stone 8lbs. A wall has to be knocked out of his home so he can be taken to hospital – in a reinforced ambulance – where he is kept on a strict diet and loses a staggering 30 stone. After a gastric bypass operation he is sent home. It is now up to him to decide if he wants to live or carry on eating himself to death.
One of Patrick’s supporters has been Rosalie Bradford, who was once the world’s fattest woman. She was eight feet wide and could not leave the house. It was only when she realized her addiction to food was a response to being abandoned as a child that she lost an incredible 900 pounds.
Through the remarkable stories of Patrick and Rosalie, Body Shock anatomizes the science of extreme weight loss and the bewildering lives of the growing number of people who seem intent on eating themselves to death. Scientists think that years ago some people developed this fat gene to help them survive famine, but with today’s high fat diet and couch potato lifestyle, that helpful gene has become something that can kill us.