A British man whom media had identified as the fattest person alive has died of pneumonia after a devastating battle with an eating disorder that brought him to 980 pounds.
News.com.au reported that Keith Martin, of London, underwent a gastric sleeve operation that removed three-quarters of his stomach, and was bound to his bed eight months before his death. He was 44.
According to The Daily Mirror, Martin had consumed about 20,000 calories a day in a diet that included six-egg fried breakfasts, and lunches and dinners with pizza, kebabs, takeout food and Big Macs. He also reportedly consumed 3.5 liters of coffee and 2 liters of carbonated drinks every day.
“Keith, like many people, had some emotional issues, and he turned to food for comfort,” Kesava Mannur, the surgeon who fitted Martin with his gastric belt at Homerton University Hospital in London, told The Daily Mirror.
“That type of behavior is nothing new, but what is new is how easy it is for people in that situation to buy a lot of cheap food,” said Mannur, who urged the U.K. government to consider a fast-food tax to help the morbidly obese.
Martin shared his story in a documentary that aired in the U.K., according to news.com.au. He said he lost his mother at 16— also to pneumonia— and had struggled with depression and anxiety ever since. He began to gain a serious amount of weight in his 20s, when he was severely depressed.
Martin was unemployed and spent his days playing video games and watching TV.
“I started eating to ease the pain, and before I knew it, I was bingeing every time something upset me,” Martin said during the documentary. “I’ve always been depressed. I am an agoraphobic— I’m afraid of public places— but it was never treated.”
“I just want to be happy, without needing food to make me happy.”