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October 22, 2009

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Fat man tries surgical fix

A BRITON who could possibly be the world's fattest man is due to go under the knife in an attempt to trim his weight, The Sun newspaper said yesterday.

The tabloid said that 48-year-old Paul Mason weighs nearly 450 kilograms, which it claimed made him the world's heaviest man. However Guinness World Records said it had no immediate confirmation of Mason's weight.

The title of world's fattest man had been held by Mexican Manuel Uribe, who weighed in at 560 kilograms in January 2006.

But Guinness spokeswoman Amarilis Espinoza said Uribe has since lost a lot of weight and that Mason might now trump him. "We're looking into the claim now," she said.

The Sun said that Mason lived in the ground floor of a specially modified bungalow in the town of Ipswich in eastern England.

Stuck in bed

Mason once appeared in a British TV program called "Tax the Fat." The program shows a bespectacled Mason lying in bed as he's quizzed about his state by The Times of London's restaurant critic, Giles Coren.

"I've been stuck in bed now for about eight years now ... nine. Something like that," Mason says.

The Sun said Mason relies on a team of seven health workers to keep him clean and free of bed sores. It said he was due to be transported to St Richard's Hospital in southern England, which has a specialist unit that treats the morbidly obese, in the coming weeks. The Sun said he was due for "drastic stomach surgery" but gave few other details.

The TV show put the cost of Mason's care to the taxpayer at about 100,000 pounds (US$165,000) annually, while The Sun said costs over the past few years had passed the 1 million pound mark.

In the TV show, Mason said he wished he weren't a burden on medical services, adding he simply couldn't control his size.

"I didn't want to be like this," he said.


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