Saudi Arabia to set up obesity centre in wake of 610kg case

22-year-old man is believed to be the fattest living human being
Saudi Arabia to set up obesity centre in wake of 610kg case
By Shane McGinley
Wed 21 Aug 2013 10:22 AM

Saudi Arabia has ordered the establishment of a government centre to treat obesity, just days after Khalid Mohsin Shaeri, a 22-year-old Saudi man weighing 610kg, made global headlines when he was airlifted from his home for weight-loss treatment ordered by King Abdullah.

“While visiting Shaeri, Minister of Health Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah ordered the establishment of the centre,” Mahmoud Al Yamani, director general of King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), where Shaeri is being treated, was quoted as saying by the Saudi Gazette newspaper on Tuesday.

As a result of the announcement, KFMC is moving forward with the setting up of the National Centre for Obesity Treatment and Shaeri, who is believed to be the world’s heaviest living human, will be one of the first patients to be treated by the newly formed facility.

Videos posted online on Tuesday showed Shaeri, who had been bed-ridden for two years, being removed from his home by a civil defence crew using a forklift truck.

Part of Shaeri’s apartment had to be demolished so he could be transferred from his home in Jizan to KFMC in the capital Riyadh. His treatment, which has been paid for by the Saudi king, will include dietary and physical programmes.

Shaeri was meant to be transferred to the US for treatment six months ago, but plans stalled due to the unavailability of a suitable hospital bed.

Officials at KFMC said Shaeri’s was “an exceptional case” and required specialist equipment, such a special bed, lift and wheelchair, to be imported from the US.

Doctors said 90 percent of Shaeri’s pancreas was removed when he was one-year-old and this may have contributed to the development of his obesity. As part of his treatment he will be urged to try to lose up to 30kg a month, with surgery a last resort.

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