Last week, TLC aired a special on Ricky Naputi of Guam, a man who died in November of 2012 at the young age of 39.
Naputi weighed a whopping 900 pounds at his peak, and his story is heartbreaking.
Even when he was “living,” Naputi wasn’t really living.
Because transportation on the island of Guam could not support his weight, he was basically house-bound and couldn’t enjoy simple things like feel the sun on his face — or take a shower.
Naputi’s wife served as his caretaker (and some say, his enabler).
“It’s like taking care of an overgrown baby,” his wife of 10 years said.
At the time of his death, Naputi was trying to lose enough weight to fly safely to the U.S. for what could have been life-saving surgery.
All I have to really say about this story is that it is heartbreaking — and so incredibly sad that Naputi wasn’t able to get the help he so desperately needs.
At the same time, when hearing his story, one can’t help but wonder how it got to this? 900 pounds, and dead at the age of 39?
I have read some commenters saying Naputi’s wife was an enabler — saying that if they were in her situation, they’d be feeding Naputi lettuce until he lost the weight.
But to some extent, it’s not that easy.
Obesity is an epidemic in this country for a reason: Because for some, eating is an addiction. Some realize they are dangerously unhealthy — and even have this confirmed by doctors. They will yo-yo diet throughout their lives — never really getting their weight under control.
They will be prescribed a cocktail of drugs — some to treat actual ailments, and some to treat the side effects of the drugs used to treat the ailments.
Eventually, they will die — likely at an age earlier that they would have, had they followed a more healthful diet. Some will die as a result of a health condition either caused by weight , caused by the types of foods being eaten (processed foods, GMOs, fast food, grains), or caused by the cocktail of drugs used to treat the ailments caused by the poor diet.
I don’t mean to lecture, because I am not perfect by ANY means, and often talk myself into eating things I KNOW won’t make me feel good. But I am working on it. It is a process — and a lifelong one at that.
Some (including me, at times) just either a) don’t care, b) aren’t considering/thinking about the consequences, or c) are too caught up in the addiction of sugar/food-like products, and the willpower isn’t strong enough to resist things like this:
MORE on Ricky Naputi: