Manuel Uribe gained the title of world’s heaviest man when he peaked at 1,230 lbs. in the 2006 Guinness World Record.
Uribe, who was from Monterrey, Mexico, managed to slim down to 867 lbs. over the years but was confirmed dead on Monday at the age of 48. The health department of Nuevo Leon state in Mexico made the announcement about his death, but the cause has not yet been confirmed.
Despite Uribe’s attempts to lose weight, he was confined to his bed for years, unable to walk by himself. He visited the hospital a few times due to an abnormal heartbeat and struggled with morbid obesity due to a sedentary lifestyle and depression. Though he had never exactly been thin, Uribe did weigh in the 200s at a younger age; but due to a sitting job and lack of exercise, he began putting on hundreds of pounds.
“I was very depressed,” Uribe told ABC News in 2008. “Everything ended on account of my obesity, because I spent a lot of money trying to see doctors, going on diets, and I just gained more weight.” Uribe’s original marriage also ended due to his obesity, and he began frittering away his days lying in bed, relying on his mother and friends to bathe and feed him.
Then, in 2006, when he reached his peak weight, he made a plea on Mexican television for help. The Mexican government sent a medical team to assist him in losing weight, spearheaded by Dr. Jaime Gonzalez, who made house calls once a week. The goal was for Uribe to lose a whopping 1,000 lbs. Despite losing a significant amount of weight and making several attempts to go outside — with the aid of a forklift — Uribe did not manage to get lower than 867 lbs.
Uribe’s story is a reflection of a handful of other “heaviest in the world” people out there, who have turned to Internet or television fame as a last-ditch effort for help, while taking advantage of their condition for publicity. Ricky Naputi, for instance, was also considered to be the world’s biggest man at one point. The 900-lb. man from Guam likewise opened up his home and lifestyle to a TLC reality show, which was aired as “900 Pound Man: Race Against Time.” Paul Mason, meanwhile, a British man who also earned the title of one of the world's fattest men, is one of the success stories — once confined to bed, he managed to lose a significant amount of weight that allowed him to walk on his own again. Now engaged, Mason is looking for help to remove the excess bags of skin left over from his heavier days.