Food addiction is a growing problem, but some scientists believe that people are not actually addicted to particular foods but, rather, to the act of eating. A compulsion to eat occurs in countless people and for many reasons. Lots will continue to eat even when they are not hungry, and this can lead to obesity and a number of related health problems. However, not all food addicts are overweight. Some people suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia may eat excessive amounts of food before making themselves sick or taking laxatives to get rid of the food they have consumed. Individuals with food addictions find it very hard to control the amount being eaten, even when they want to stop.
Britain’s heaviest man, Carl Thompson, suffered from food addiction that cost him his life. The 65-stone man was found dead at the age of 33, despite speaking about how he wanted to lose weight and change his ways. Carl was taking part in a Channel 5 documentary called 65 Stone and Trapped in My House, and during filming he was seen being begged to cut down on his food consumption by nutrition experts.
Carl was told that if he did not lose weight and cut down on his food intake he would die; unfortunately, he passed away just weeks after filming concluded.
Carl was warned by Shaw Somers, an obesity expert, that he might not be here in six months to a year while dietician Lucy Jones also advised that he needed to take drastic action as soon as possible. Carl made it known that he wanted to lose weight in order to see his nephew grow up. He said, “I love him to bits. I want to see him grow up, get married, have kids of his own. Play football with him. You know… go to the park with him.”
He had been told that he needed to cut his calorie intake by at least 1,000 per day, but Carl was reluctant to drop his food intake by so much so soon. Instead, he insisted it would take him months to make that cut.
Carl had previously appeared on This Morning asking for help to lose weight and said he wanted to lose weight naturally. He spoke of how he had gained thirty stone in three years as he binge ate to cope with his grief following his mother’s death. Despite already being obese, Carl’s weight doubled, and he was no longer able to work. He began living on benefits and spending thousands of pounds a year on fast food. Staff at one fast food restaurant had a key to his flat so that they could bring his order to him in bed.
Before he died, Carl was consuming 10,000 calories per day, and he was bed-bound. He could not care for himself, and a team of NHS staff had to cook for him and bathe him. When his body was found, emergency services had to lift him from his home with a small crane.
Carl had told the makers of the documentary that he had been warned about his weight but that he had always refused to take any heed. He said, “I was quite young, I didn’t understand really. My weight, it got worse and worse. I was pushing people away because I didn’t, I didn’t need their help, but obviously I did at the time.”
Carl is an example of many people in the UK suffering from addictions that are destroying their lives. Unfortunately for Carl, he did not get the help he needed before he died, but help is available for others. Rehab Helper is a free service working to put addicts and their families in touch with organisations from which they can access suitable treatments for their addiction. Call today for information on how we can help.