The world's former fattest man is in the headlines again. This time he is complaining that the NHS has refused to perform an operation to remove the unsightly vast swathes of loose skin he was left with following a gastric bypass operation.
The Englishman who was labelled the fattest man in the world until he received a £30,000 gastric bypass operation on the National Health Service, is in the news again. Paul Mason, 50, weighed 70 stone at one point, spending £75 a day on food to feed his gluttonous habit of takeaways and chocolate which fed his 20,000 calorie a day habit.
Following surgery which reduced his weight to 37 stone by the beginning of 2011, Mason was reportedly set to sue the NHS, not for any complications with the operation but because he blamed the NHS for not helping him control his weight. According to the Daily Mail, Mason said "I want to set a precedent so no one else has to get to the same size." Instead of taking personal responsibility for his weight gain Mason believed the NHS was at fault for sending him to a dietitian rather than an eating disorder specialist.
In fact, it transpires that Mason's weight problems have cost the NHS up to £1 million. The latest decision to refuse his immediate request for an operation to surgically remove his vast folds of excess skin have angered him, although the decision was reached by a panel of clinicians that determined "a patient must have a stable weight before he or she is considered." (Daily Mail) The operation, which is considered cosmetic rather than a clinical necessity could be done privately for around the same cost as his previous monthly food bill.
Mason has not only received care from the NHS but has cost British taxpayers the expense of his prison stay when he was sentenced for stealing from letters when he worked as a postman. He also racked up further expenses when firefighters had to break a wall to remove him from his flat, and additional costs to transport his huge weight.