Being overweight in 2015 is tough enough as it is, with everybody offering an opinion about how you can lose pounds by cutting out carbs or squatting 100 times a day. Fad diets come and go as often as we change underwear: one minute we’re told to restrict calories, the next we’re told that natural sugars are the devil. Everywhere we turn, there are billboards of gorgeous size 0 models staring down at us and bony men and women trying to sell us whatever they can in television ads. A slim person probably doesn’t notice half of the pro-skinny propaganda being thrown at them on a daily basis, but those who are overweight feel its sting every single time.
While fat shaming is a huge reality in today’s world, there are times where being overweight isn’t just considered unattractive by society but can actually be physically harmful to the person in question’s health. Extreme amounts of extra weight can put too much strain on the human heart and can quite literally kill somebody by heart attack. Besides that, too many packed on pounds can wreak havoc on our hormones and organs, making our body slowly and surely become out of whack. Celebrities have to constantly endure the public scrutinizing every square inch of their body, which isn’t fun for anybody. But sometimes there comes a point where their fans are concerned about their weight problems, not just vilifying them for it. Below, we discuss ten celebrities who are dangerously overweight.
10. Beth Ditto
Beth Ditto is the front-woman of popular indie-dance band The Gossip and has long inspired women and men around the world by seemingly shamelessly parading her 239 pound, 5’2″ body across the stage while performing. Decked out in form-fitting jumpsuits and dresses, her message was clear: accept yourself, no matter what you look like. However, the weight she was carrying on her frame was not beneficial to her health and she ended up losing about 50 pounds in 2013. Ditto has spoken out about her weight, saying that she always tries to put a brave face on because if she didn’t keep smiling, she would be frustrated every day.
9. Melissa McCarthy
Growing up, Melissa fluctuated between a size 6 and 8 but has said that she always wished to be a size 2 or 4 and didn’t appreciate the great shape she was in. After giving birth to her children, her weight hit an all-time high and she has been overweight since. She has said that people’s malicious comments can sometimes knock the wind out of her and that she could probably eat less and drink less. But ultimately, she thinks life is short and that it isn’t meant to be spent dieting. McCarthy says that if people can’t accept her for who she is, they should find another actress to hire or admire. In 2014, she lost 45 pounds in an effort to improve her health as she found she was frequently out of breath and having back pain.
8. Jonah Hill
In 2011, Jonah Hill’s co-star Brad Pitt urged him to lose 40 pounds to help improve his health. However, his weight ballooned again in 2014 and skyrocketed all the way up to 270 pounds. In order to have lost the weight initially, Hill ate a diet of only meat and vegetables which reportedly left him with horrible breath and wasn’t sustainable in the long run. He has said that he loves to drink beer, which leads him to make unhealthy food choices. Friends of the actor are concerned about his heavy weight and believe that if he doesn’t stop eating recklessly, it could seriously harm his health or even kill him. The extra pounds he’s carrying are dangerous for his health and put serious strain on his organs – especially his liver.
7. Rebel Wilson
Rebel Wilson rose to fame for her role as an overweight college student in the movie Pitch Perfect. While she has enjoyed mainstream success portraying, in her own words, “a fat person” – she says that she isn’t as confident about her body type in real life as she is onscreen. Wilson says that it’s hard to read people’s negative comments about her and almost impossible to date since men constantly friend zone her. In 2011, she became a spokesperson for weight loss company Jenny Craig and managed to lose 22 pounds. However, she is no longer on the diet and is 291 pounds at just five feet and three inches tall. Her favorite food is ice cream, which she may have to give up in order to find her way back to health.
6. Ruben Studdard
A decade ago, Rubben Studdard competed on American Idol and captured the world’s attention with his incredible voice. However, even while he was competing it was apparent that the physical strain of performing was taking its toll on him as he was constantly sweating and often out of breath. In 2014, Studdard joined the cast of The Biggest Loser because he felt “fat as hell” and was experiencing sleep apnea, high blood pressure and became borderline diabetic. At his heaviest, he clocked in at a whopping 462 pounds. Filming of The Biggest Loser took over four months, but Studdard has said that it was more important to find health and get his weight under control than to worry about taking a short pause during his career.
5. Jorge Garcia
Jorge Garcia is best known for starring on the hit television series Lost. He is immediately recognizable due to his weight – he tips the scale at just over 400 pounds. While he has said that breaking into Hollywood took especially long, he has enjoyed quite a bit of success due to his talent and his unique look. However, Garcia’s friends are concerned that his obesity will harm him in the long run and could cause a pre-mature death. Doctors have told him that he is at risk of developing type 2 Diabetes and that a heart attack due to heart disease may be imminent if he keeps up his unhealthy eating habits. Garcia also has the option of having gastric bypass surgery to change the way his intestines process food and make him feel full from smaller amounts of calories.
4. Val Kilmer
We all fell in love with Val Kilmer’s handsome good looks and muscled bod in the smash hit movie The Saint. He remained one of the hottest movie stars in the world but then began to put on a concerning amount of weight in the 2000s. In 2006, he had appeared to have gained 50-75 pounds of pure body fat onto his once thin frame. His looks had changed so much that he began to only be cast in roles which required the actors to be fat. While he has displayed a shocking weight loss in recent years and has shrunk down to even smaller than his original size, it has been rumoured that the actor slimmed down due to being diagnosed with throat cancer. We can’t be sure if the cancer rumours are true, but it could very well have been caused by his unhealthy weight.
3. Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando became hugely overweight in his later years due to a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits. The stories about the actor’s legendary overeating are so crazy that they almost aren’t believable. His wife would lock the fridge at night to prevent him from eating and he would take a crowbar to it, break the lock off then take a huge bite of a wheel of cheese just because he could. Then, a separate girlfriend had placed him on a strict diet which he adhered to in front of her so she wouldn’t break up with him. But at night, he would have his friends throw Burger King bags over the fence and he would feast all night – much to the girlfriend’s confusion. He is said to have eaten entire roast chickens on set and once had a private plane fly him champagne and ham in Tahiti because he couldn’t find any on the island. He died from respiratory and heart failure in 2004, which may have been caused by his dangerously heavy frame.
2. Michael Moore
Michael Moore makes riveting documentaries about improving the world, but in reality he needs more than a little help with improving his health. Born in the Midwest, he claims that back in his hometown he is a “normal weight” which he agrees is problematic. At 6’0 and over 300 pounds after a recent weight loss, Moore is still considered obese. He credits poor eating habits and a love of soda for causing him to initially pack on the pounds and become unhealthily overweight. In previous attempts to lose weight, he said that he shot himself in the foot by trying not to eat at all and then binging. He also claims that diet soda may not have any calories in it but is so packed with sodium that it hinders people’s weight loss. After a stint at a $4,500 per week luxury health spa, he has managed to lose over 70 pounds which helps him out, but still leaves him in a dangerously unhealthy weight category.
1. Al Roker
While Al Roker may be considerably slimmer now, his weight story is one of the most popular in the entertainment industry and is worth taking a look back at. The television presenter weighed over 350 pounds up until 2002 due to emotional eating – an issue that many people struggle with. He would eat comfort food when he was happy and sad which allowed the pounds to creep on over the course of several years. He was constantly tired, had blood sugar problems and was at risk of having a heart attack when he decided to have gastric bypass surgery which allowed him to lose 150 pounds. He gained another 40 pounds when his mother passed away after letting himself slip back into unhealthy eating habits. Today, he is fit and slim and is living proof that with the right diet and exercise, anybody can get themselves out of a dangerously unhealthy weight situation – even if they have to consider surgery to kick start their progress.