Published March 16, 2010
Meet Donna Simpson. She's going to cost you. A lot.
Simpson, of Old Bridge, N.J., is 42 years old, has two kids and a boyfriend, and she weighs 602 pounds. That's right ... 602 pounds.
She's on a diet, of course, because she has a goal in mind:
She wants to weigh 1,000 pounds.
That's right ... 1,000 pounds. It's a nice, extra-round figure — almost as big as what her unhealthy choices will ultimately cost taxpayers.
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Simpson claims she is normal and healthy, and she has a right to eat what she wants and weigh what she wants.
“I love eating and people love watching me eat,” she says. “It makes people happy, and I’m not harming anyone.”
But she needs to use a motor scooter when she goes grocery shopping, because she can't walk more than 20 feet. The human body, after all, is not designed to scarf down 12,000 calories a day in the quest to weigh half a ton.
Simpson is definitely harming someone — herself, says Dr. Carla Wolper, a registered dietitian and research faculty member at the New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York.
And you, the taxpayer, could wind up paying for it.
“We don’t know her medical history, but one of the most dangerous health issues she faces is an increased risk of sudden death from having a heart attack due to electrical problems in the heart,” Wolper said.
Other possible causes of death for Simpson include stroke, immobility, breathing problems, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and inflammation of heart tissue. Each year, nearly 300,000 Americans die from heart failure.
Simpson, experts say, is putting herself at risk for all these medical conditions, and those conditions have a hefty pricetag.
“The baseline cost for someone like to go to the emergency room is $993 for one visit,” Daniel Emmer, public relations manager of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the largest health insurance provider in New Jersey, told FOXNews.com.
Simpson’s main source of income to support herself financially is by appearing on a Web site where men pay to watch videos of her gorging on food and showing off her hundreds of pounds of extra bulge in a bikini.
But it's anyone's guess whether her revenue from Web videos will cover the cost of her inevitable health risks.
“Someone with diabetes costs $11,744 more per year to provide health care, which is twice as much as the average person,” Emmer said.
It is unclear what type of insurance Simpson has, if any. But there is no question that whatever her health care position is, it could come at a high cost.
“Obesity causes a minimum $1,429 increase, or 42 percent in medical costs,” Emmer said. “Research shows lifestyle choices and behaviors drive 87.5 percent of the cost for health care claims.”
“When people are very, very overweight, they are at an increased risk for a condition called prolonged QT syndrome,” Wolper told FoxNews.com.
Prolonged QT syndrome is a heart rhythm disorder that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats, the Mayo Clinic says on its Web site. In some cases, the heart may beat erratically for so long that it can cause sudden death.
"Another problem this woman faces is related to the circulatory system,” Wolper said. “When people are that big, circulation is often impaired in the legs. This can cause blood to pool in the legs leading to formation of blood clots. This leaves morbidly obese people at an increased risk for a pulmonary embolism.”
A pulmonary embolism occurs when one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to your lungs from another part of your body — most commonly, your legs, according to the Mayo Clinic. One of the major risk factors is excess weight, which increases the risk of blood clots, especially in women who smoke or have high blood pressure.
“The work of the heart is tremendously increased when someone is that big because there’s so much more blood in the body,” Wolper said. “When this happens, the heart has to pump against the pressure of all that fat that is pressing against the blood vessels, and as a result the heart enlarges, and not in a good way.”
As Simpson’s appetite increases, so will the cost of health care for the severe medical conditions that she is likely to have — conditions that are preventable by healthier lifestyle choices. Whereas her $750-a-week grocery bill is merely gastronomical, her hospital bills will be astronomical — and the taxpayers of New Jersey may well have to pay her tab.
Meanwhile, in her effort to boldly go where no woman has gone before, Simpson says she tries to stay sedentary, so she burns as few calories as necessary.
She consumes five times more than the recommended daily calories for a woman her age.
“My favorite food is sushi. But unlike others I can sit and eat 70 big pieces of sushi in one go,” she told the Daily Mail.
“I do love cakes and sweet things, doughnuts are my favorite.”
The current record for fattest woman is held by a woman also from New Jersey, who weighed an unbelievable 1,800 pounds when she died in 2008. She was 49 years old.
Simpson is proud of the Guinness World Record she holds now for the world’s fattest mother, and her boyfriend is proud of her too.
Philippe, 49, supports her thousand-pound goal, even if that is nearly seven times his own weight of 150 pounds.
“I think he’d like it if I was bigger,” Simpson said. “He’s a real belly man, and completely supports me.”
Someday, the experts say, we all may support her.
FoxNews.com's Colleen Cappon and Karlie Pouliot contributed to this article.