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The heaviest person ever carried over 400 kg of fluids in his body

Posted October 28, 2019

In colder months people start putting on weight. Some say that this is because of our natural response to cold. Others argue that this is solely because people don’t have to worry about having a beach body anymore. However, as big as you get, you are not going to become the world’s heaviest person ever. We hope.

The heaviest man ever weighed around 640 kg. Image credit: Algont via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

If you looked at the list of heaviest people ever, you will notice a trend – most of them are dead. Some died in their 30’s, some in their 40’s, but they rarely got to being 50 years of age. And that is not surprising. Being morbidly obese is a death sentence, but one that you can shred to pieces with enough dedication and power of will. Regardless of how overweight you are, you shouldn’t lose hope. In fact, today’s medicine is more capable than ever to help you.

It didn’t help the world’s heaviest person ever Jon Brower Minnoch, born in 1941. When Jon was just 12 years old he weighed 133 kilograms and got bigger and bigger every year. In 1978 he was hospitalized due to cardiac and respiratory failure, but recovered enough to get married, breaking the record for the greatest difference in weight between a married couple when he married his 50 kg wife Jeannette. At that time he tipped the scale at 640 kg – that is the heaviest any person has ever been.

Jon Brower Minnoch nowhere near at his heaviest. Image credit: Wikimedia

Being on the edge of death, of course, changed Minnoch’s perspective on life, but it wasn’t just his poor eating habits. Doctors diagnosed him with a massive generalized edema – his body was maintaining an excessive amount of fluid between the cells. An endocrinologist Robert Schwartz estimated that over 408 kg of Minnoch’s overall body mass was retained fluid.

Minnoch was hospitalized to stabilize his condition and to help him lose the weight. That in itself was a tremendously difficult task, requiring assistance of a dozen firefighters. In hospital he stayed on two beds pushed together. When linen needed to be changed, 13 nurses helped him roll over. In 16 months he lost 419 kg and was feeling better, but in 1981 he returned to 432 kg.

At that point doctors just gave up. Edema was incurable and there was not much they could help Minnoch. His family still supported him and he did his best to lose weight. However, in 1983 Jon Brower Minnoch died at the age of 41. At that time he weighed 362 kg.

Let’s come back to the list of heaviest people ever for a second. You will notice that breaking 500 kg is quite rare. In fact, it is difficult to become that fat without an underlying health condition. Regardless, if you are obese, you should look for help, which will improve the quality of life and will give you a longer life expectancy in general.

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