IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – A 5-foot-9, 22-year-old man who eats 6,500 calories a day — two and a half times the average intake for an adult male — has earned a special reward for breaking the 100-pound mark:
Dinner out from his mom.
"I'm a medical mystery," said Matt Chaffee, who weighed in at 101 pounds on Saturday. "I've accepted it."
Chaffee, who has a 26-inch waist, had several health problems as a newborn. One of them, pyloric stenosis, prevents food from emptying out of the stomach. The condition and ulcers he developed in his esophagus reduced his ability to gain weight.
Chaffee weighed 8 pounds when he was 4 months old, and 17 pounds when he reached kindergarten, his mother said. He was up to 85 pounds at age 14, but couldn't participate in some activities, including swimming.
"He sinks like a rock," his mother, Kelley Chaffee, told the Post Register.
Since turning 18 his goal has been to go over 100 pounds. He achieved that on a diet that included 5,000 calories a day in protein shakes.
"He was so happy," Kelley Chaffee said.
Sandi Birch, a registered dietitian at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, said most of the people she deals with are not trying to put on weight.
"It's far more common to have the opposite problem," she said.
He said he'll stop drinking the protein shakes if he reaches 120 pounds. Until then, he said he'll continue to wear long johns in the summer that help him conserve heat and prevent illness.
Kelley Chaffee said she will continue to search for clothes in her son's size that make him look his best.
"He doesn't look good in Wranglers," she said.