Three morbidly obese American men took the unusual step of moving to China in an effort to shed their unhealthy habits and lose weight, Agence France-Presse reported.
Alonzo Bland, 33, and brothers Walt and David Anderson, ages 56 and 50, moved to the northern Chinese city of Tianjin in the middle of this year as part of a weight-loss effort and have managed to shed a combined total of 427 pounds. They hope to lose at least another 100 pounds combined.
The three men headed to China after winning a contest from the U.S. company China Connection promoting traditional Chinese medicine, AFP reported.
Every morning, the three get acupuncture in their bedrooms at the Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital, which doctors say increases the metabolism rate and reduces appetite, according to the report. They also regularly exercise and eat a typical Chinese diet of rice, tofu, meat, vegetables and soup.
Bland weighed 641 pounds before leaving for China and has lost 227 pounds since his arrival.
"The reason why I think it works here is that China is away from everything, all the stuff that I'm familiar with," said Bland, who left a fiancee and two kids back home in Wisconsin and had a tracheotomy in 2000 because the fat in his face was pressing down on his windpipe.
David Anderson, an unmarried dishwasher who worked in a casino in Iowa, said he couldn't walk 20 feet without gasping for breath. He's down to 229 pounds after losing 90 pounds.
His brother Walt has shed said Walt, is down to 394 pounds after losing 106 pounds.