600-Pound Man Begs For Help to Lose Weight

By Maria Nikias

Mar 2, 2012 7:18pm

A 600-pound man, only 23 years old, cried out for help on YouTube, and his video has gone viral, reaching almost 200,000 views.

On the day before his birthday, Robert revealed on YouTube that he weighs over 600 pounds and is looking for his last chance of losing weight.

“I’m making this video to try and get it to go viral and get somebody’s help that knows what they’re doing and can help me,” he says in the video. “I’m making this video because I don’t know what else to do.”

In the video, the young man stares into the camera and confesses that he fears for his life for over three minutes. He goes as far as to ask help from “The Biggest Loser” to Dr. Phil.

“This is my last chance, my last hope, one of them at least,” he said. “I’m really scared that I’m not going to be able to watch my niece and nephew grow up, and I’m not going to have a family of my own.”

Dr. Lou Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at NY-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says obesity is a much bigger problem than simply eating healthier.

“People are going to be inclined to look at this and say, Why doesn’t this guy just go on a diet?” he said.  ”I gotta tell you, it’s a lot harder than it looks.”

Robert states in his video, “I tried losing weight on my own, tried doing everything possible, been on diets, been hospitalized, I’ve always done what needed to be done at the time, and then I would just gain the weight back.”

However, Aronne urged that obesity isn’t about a lack of discipline, but rather a disease that becomes out of control. Part of the cause, says Aronne, is inflammation in the part of the brain that affects the chemical signals that control body weight.

“Normally your fat cells should be telling your brain how much fat is stored. What happens in someone like Robert is his brain isn’t getting the message,” said Aronne. “He feels like he’s riding around with an empty gas tank all the time.”

With obesity comes health risks, which can become life threatening, among them sleep apnea, heart failure, immobility, high blood pressure, infections and diabetes.

“The first thing you have to do is cut them down on calories before you can get them to move,” said Aronne. “They may need physical therapy before going to a gym.”

Furthermore, Aronne noted that as males such as Robert get bigger, their fat cells begin to turn testosterone into estrogen, causing them to lose all muscle mass.

“They start to gain more weight and it becomes a vicious cycle that in some people, they don’t seem to have a breaking mechanism,” Aronne said. “They don’t have a social support mechanism that helps them to stop at some point. It keeps going around and around.”

As Robert’s popularity begins to grow on the Internet, Aronne urges the public to help people like Robert.

“I think it shows you how desperate people are for help, for real help and how serious a problem obesity is,” Aronne said. “You have to look at this problem in a different way if we’re going to be successful.”

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