One of the lightest automobiles ever made, the Suzuki Alto, weighed 200 lbs less than the heaviest human ever recorded. Everyone on this list weighed at least half-a-ton (1,000 lbs). Can you imagine carrying yourself around weighing about as much as half a car? At the point of being that extremely overweight, it is hard enough to move at all. Rosalie Bradford had to start her exercise program by clapping along to Richard Simmons tapes. How does someone manage to lose 500 lbs in one year? When you think about it, the stories that the people on this list have to tell are really quite amazing.
Every person on this list suffered from morbid obesity at one point. Doctors diagnose morbid obesity with the Body Mass Index (BMI). Defined as the ratio of height to weight. Normal BMI ranges are from 20-25. Doctors consider an individual morbidly obese with a BMI of 35 or more. Morbid obesity is a class 2 obesity, key word “morbid”. It is a type of obesity that literally kills people. And of course it comes with many other complications too, like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Surprisingly enough, although this list includes the biggest gainers ever documented, it also includes the biggest losers ever documented as well. They lost more weight than anyone ever. It also comes as a surprise that Richard Simmons had a lot to do with a few of the stories on this page. The man is obviously famous for a reason.
10. Rosalie Bradford (1,053 lbs.)
Rosalie Bradford (born 1943) was an American woman who held the Guinness World Record as the world’s heaviest woman until 2013. In her early twenties she started gaining weight uncontrollably. She tried several diets with no success. Her appetite started spiraling out of control and even Weight Watchers couldn’t help. She found herself staying home with her son and cooking a lot. When she entered the hospital for a blood infection, she gave up on exercise completely.
Long story short, she remained immobile for eight years. Her peak weight was 1,053 lbs in 1987. She became depressed and attempted suicide during that time. But she then contacted the famous fitness expert Richard Simmons (who helped at least one other person on this list). Simmons reportedly told Rosalie, “God doesn’t make junk and you are worth the effort.” Rosalie soon dropped 420 lbs after one year on Simmon’s diet and exercise plan. She eventually lost a total of 768 lbs.
9. Robert Earl Hughes (1,069 lbs.)
In the early 20th century Robert Earl Hughes was the heaviest human being ever in the history of the world. He was born in Baylis, Illinois in 1926. Even at the age of six he weighed about 200 lbs. At the age of 10, he weighed 377 lbs. At his peak weight, his chest measured 10 ft in circumference and Robert weighed 1,069 lbs.
This was way back in the day. And his excessive weight doctors explained was a malfunctioning pituitary gland. E.g. a malfunctioning hormonal system. Throughout his life, he made many guest appearances at carnivals and fairs. This was before the internet of course. He also had plans to appear on the Ed Sullivan show, but that never came about. He died when he was only 32 years old. Legend has it that he died buried in a piano case, which most likely isn’t true.
8. Patrick Deuel (1,072 lbs.)
Patrick Deuel is one of the few people fortunately still living on this list. Deuel was born in Nebraska who used to work as a restaurant manager. Apparently, he didn’t leave his house for seven years. Only standing slightly below average at 5 ft. 7 in., his peak weight was 1,072 lbs. When it was finally time for Patrick to go to the Hospital, rescuers cut out completely his bedroom wall in order to extract him from his home. He then entered into the hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The modified ambulance came with extra-wide doors and a ramp-and-winch system. Dispatchers sent a special ambulance from 400 miles and six hours away, all the way from Denver, Colorado. After 12 months in the hospital, Patrick lost 570 lbs and he is still alive today.
7. Michael Hebranko (1,100 lbs.)
Michael Hebranko’s story is a roller coaster ride. In the late 1980’s he dropped his weight from 906 lbs to 200 lbs. His waist size went from 9 ft. in circumference (110 in.) to 36 in. All this within 19 months of time, and with the help of dieting and fitness expert Richard Simmons. In 1990 his weight loss entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the “highest recorded weight loss.”
At the height of his glory, he toured the United States, lecturing about dieting and exercise and giving educational speeches on his experiences. He even appeared on infomercials with Richard Simmons, and as a guest on The Howard Stern Show.
Over the next seven years, his weight began to increase dramatically (999 lbs), and by June 1999 he had reached his peak weight of 1,100 lbs. Again, he went through massive weight loss before passing away in 2013, probably weighing somewhere around 550 lbs.
6. Walter Hudson (1,197 lbs.)
Born in Brooklyn, New York, (1944) Walter Hudson holds the Guinness World Record for “the largest waist.” His waist was 9 ft. 11 in. in circumference in 1987 – at 43 years of age. At his peak weight he weighed 1,197 lbs.
He described his daily diet as “two boxes of sausages, one pound of bacon, 12 eggs, a loaf of bread, four hamburgers, four double cheeseburgers, eight large portions of fries, three ham steaks or two chickens, four baked potatoes, four sweet potatoes, four heads of broccoli, most of a large cake, and additional snacks.” He also drank an average of “18 quarts of soda every day.” Hudson became famous when he slimmed down from 1,200 lbs to 520 lbs and left his home for the first time in 18 years. He died of a heart attack in 1991 at the age of 46, only 70 lbs lighter than his peak weight.
5. Robert Butler (1,200 lbs.)
Robert Butler was an American male who was born in the early 1970’s. He spent nearly a decade in a run-down nursing home. While there (and already severely overweight), he battled loneliness, depression, and inadequate care from his nursing home. He claimed he slept on a broken bed and that the home could not care for his needs. “When I’m depressed I’ll eat chips or order myself a large pizza and pretty much kill it myself,” said Butler in 2006. The “Bannister House” he was staying in is now $2 million in debt and all patients have since moved.
During the last years of his life Butler wanted gastric bypass surgery. But he failed to lose the required weight. Instead he gained 300 pounds more while living in that miserable nursing home. “I want to start a career again. I’m willing to chance dying on that operating table instead of dying in this bed.” He died in 2015.
4. Carol Yager (1,200 – 1,600 lbs.)
Carol Yager is the heaviest woman ever documented. She suffered from morbid obesity to an extreme degree. She was 5’7” in height. Carol may have been about four to five ft. wide. She may have been the heaviest person on this list. Rumor says Carol’s peak weight could have been as much as 1,600 lbs.
As a child she had an eating disorder. In 1993 she entered into the hospital where she lost 521 lbs in three months (she holds a world record for most weight lost by non-surgical means in the shortest documented time). Her diet at the time was a strict 1,200 calorie diet (most of the weight she lost we think would have been fluid). She could not stand or walk and died in 1994 at the young age of 34 weighing about 1200 lbs. After having entered the hospital 13 times in two years.
3. Manuel “Meme” Uribe Garza (1,316 lbs.)
He weighed 254 lbs. during his adolescence. “I used to eat normal, just like all Mexicans do … beans, rice, flour tortilla, corn tortilla, french fries, hamburgers, subs and pizzas, whatever regular people eat”. After illegally immigrating to the United States, he reached a peak weight of 1,316 lbs. He cited his sedentary lifestyle as the source of his weight gain. “Life in the United States is like that,” he said. “You just go from your desk to your car. I used to drive my car to and from work, so I didn’t get any exercise”. He was unable to leave his bed for about six years. With the help of his doctors and nutritionists he lost 510 lbs.
Weighing 701 lbs, he married his second wide Claudia from his bed saying, “I am proof you can find love in any circumstances.” He did eventually die from obesity on May 26, 2014, where he weighed 869 lbs.
2. Khalid Bin Mohsen Shaari (1,345 lbs.)
Khalid Bin Mohsen Shaari – a young adult male in his mid-20s – was born in Saudi Arabia in 1991. King Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia, ordered Khalid to enter weight-loss treatment in August 2013. At his heaviest, he stood 5 ft. 8 in. tall and weighed 1,345 lbs. His BMI (body mass divided by the squared height of an individual) at the time of his heaviest weight was 204. This was the highest ever recorded!
By orders of the king, Khalid traveled from his home (where he had not left his bed for three years) and flew to the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. By forklift and airlift, Khalid transferred into a medical facility in Riyadh where he received treatment. As a result of his surgery, nutrition program, and rehabilitation, Khalid has managed to lose more than half of his body weight (700 lbs).
1. Jon Brower Minnoch (1,400 lbs.)
Jon Brower Minnoch holds three significant world records. His peak weight was the heaviest ever recorded. Minnoch’s weight loss (923 lbs.) is the largest documented weight loss ever recorded. At the age of 36 his heart and lungs began to fail and he entered the hospital for cardiac and respiratory failure. It took over 12 fireman and rescue people to transport Jon to the University of Washington Medical Center. There he rested on two composite beds and occupied a staff of 13 people. Soon doctors realized that over 900 lbs. of Jon’s body weight consisted of unneeded body fluids. That same year of his hospitalization Jon broke a new world record – the “greatest difference in weight between a married couple.”
At the age of 12, he weighed already 294 lbs. At age 22 he weighed 100 lbs more, 392 lbs. And at his heaviest, Jon was 6 ft. 1 in. tall and weighed about 1,4000 lbs.