Obese Saudi man to get medical help

Aug. 19, 2013 at 5:35 PM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The Saudi Arabian royal family has intervened on behalf of a severely obese man who made a televised plea for help losing weight.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia ordered Mohsen Shaari, who weighs 1,345 pounds, to be transferred from the southern province of Jazan to the capital Riyadh to undergo medical treatment.

Shaari made a plea for help on Saudi television and managed to shed several hundred pounds by March 2012, getting down to 980 pounds. Shaari's weight makes him unable to move on his own. The television story about him showed mechanical devices used to haul him out of bed.

CNN said Shaari will undergo various medical treatments. That list doesn't include weight loss surgery but doctors have not ruled out the option.

The obesity issue is a significant one in Saudi Arabia with more than 35 percent of citizens considered overweight. It's the second highest obesity rate in the Middle East. Kuwait has the highest obesity rate in the region, at 42 percent.

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