Australia's biggest man loses 200kg

Reporter: Dr John D'Arcy | Producer: Penny McWhirter

Formerly Australia's fattest-man, Andre Nasr has revealed he lost 200 kilograms in the year since he was hospitalised and near-death due to his weight.

Weighing in at 470kg before he was hospitalized, he was consuming a staggering 50,200 kilojoules or 12,000 calories a day — six times the average consumption recommended for Australians.

He had become so fat a wall had to be removed from his home so that health workers could reach him and move him to hospital where he joined a specialist treatment program.

In the exclusive interview with Sunday Night, Andre also revealed he has cut ties with his parents, which he said was necessary to his recovery.

Even when he was too big to move anymore, Andre's mother would bring him food, sometimes delivering it through the bedroom window.

Andre's exercise began with strengthening his legs to hold him up again
Andre's exercise began with strengthening his legs to hold him up again

"They are out of my life," he said.

"If I was to pick up the phone and call them I know they would still come with food so the fact that they are not in my life means that temptation isn't there."

"People have a funny way of showing love sometimes"

It has been a lifelong struggle with food for Andre, one he likens to an addiction, and he was clinically obese by the age of three. By the time he was 18 he weighed 200 kilograms.

While he previously took full responsibility for his weight, Andre now says his well-meaning parents contributed to the problem.

Eventually, at age 35, his weight threatened to kill him. He was in a critical state with pneumonia and infected skin ulcers between his folds of fat.

Rescue workers accessed Andre's bedroom by cutting a hole in the wall.
Rescue workers accessed Andre's bedroom by cutting a hole in the wall.

Dr Nic Kormas is a specialist in the field of obesity, working at Sydney's Concord hospital and says there are as many as 1000 Australians trapped in their homes by obesity.

In 2014 Andre wrote to him with a letter pleading for help.

"I am not ready to die at 35 years old," his letter said.

"I’m easily 400 kilograms if not more and I have been trapped in my house for at least the past two to three years. Please help me Dr Kormas I am begging you"

Andre wrote Dr Kormas a letter pleading for help
Andre wrote Dr Kormas a letter pleading for help


Dr Kormas said Andre's condition was among the worst he had seen, but it wouldn’t be the last.

"We talk about severe obesity as people having a body mass index of more than 45 now. Mr Nasr has a body mass index of close to 145," Dr Kormas said.

"I’ve seen more people this year who have become stuck and ended up in hospital than I have in the last ten years of working in this area of medicine."

Andre would eat more than 20 pieces of KFC in one sitting, his dinner was about six times the size of the average person's meal and he washed it down with six litres of soft drink each day.

Andre would eat this much KFC in one sitting
Andre would eat this much KFC in one sitting

Dr Kormas cut Andre's intake down to 2000 calories a day and introduced daily exercise.

The first goal was to get Andre to stand again.

After nearly 10 months in hospital, Andre got his weight below 300kg and could finally walk.

After 14 months in hospital Andre has been approved for specialized public housing - a home purpose built for extremely obese tenants; it has wide hallways and a large bathroom but a regular sized kitchen.

"I would like to get down to 118 kilograms because that will mean a weight loss of 350 kilograms but Tasha knows me, she doesn't think I will stop at 118 but in my head that is the magic number."

His daily meals in the hospital were significantly different.
His daily meals in the hospital were significantly different.

With his discharge from hospital comes all the temptations of the outside world, but Andre's family has kept him on track.

Wife Natalie and their sons have been with him every step of the way.

"I love him. I do. I love him to bits. So I see beyond his weight," she said.

"He needed it. He needed a fix. So even if he didn’t get it he would actually get quite angry if he didn’t get what he wanted so yeah it was, yeah, so yeah like a drug"

She said the hospital was his only option and it was a relief for both of them to take the step.