Chinese Help Americans with Weight Loss Technique
As it turns out, the Chinese have some pretty good ideas about weight loss. Natural therapy helped three morbidly obese Americans regain control of their lives - and lose over 400 pounds between the three of them.
Brothers David and Walt Anderson, along with another unrelated man, Alonzo Bland won a trip to Tianjin, China for natural, herbalistic weight loss therapy. All of them needed the help. David weighed in at 319, while his brother Walt pushed 500. Alonzo, on the other hand, tipped the scales at a whopping 617 pounds. Before winning the contest he had tried many conventional methods that didn't work. "I want to get my weight down to 200 pounds," Alonzo said upon his arrival. "I won't go home until I succeed." It was a lofty goal, coming from someone who cannot remember weighing less than 360 pounds. But hope is in sight - he's already dropped 227 pounds.
The contest was sponsored by China Connection, an American firm which promotes traditional Chinese medicine. The prize includes lodging at the Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital and free treatment for "as long as it takes." Every morning, the men receive acupuncture treatment to boost their metabolism and reduce their appetite. They also exercise twice daily and eat a balance of good nutrition from a canteen at the hospital. Their diet includes rice, fried vegetables, tofu, meat, and soup. David Anderson views the trip as a life saver. "Before I came over," he said, "I got to the point that I couldn't walk twenty feet without gasping for breath. I don't think I would have made it to my fifty-first birthday."
Since their arrival in Tianjin, the three men have captured the attention of the local public. It's very unusual for someone in China to reach that size. They were featured in a local news story, which attracted a local woman to contact Walt and ask to marry him. Walt denied the offer. "I didn't come here to find a Chinese wife," he said later. "I don't need a wife."
Dr. Su Zhixin, of the Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital, commented on their sudden fame. "For us, it is very hard to see such obese people. Alonzo is the heaviest person to have come here since our hospital was set up in 1998." Alonzo didn't appreciate the attention at first. "It was unbearable. I just wanted to not go out at all. But then the weight started coming off, and I thought - I am who I am."
Since the operation began, the men started putting off almost unbelievable amounts of weight. While Alonzo lost the most (227 pounds), Walt and David follow close behind with 106lbs and 90lbs, respectively. "The reason why I think it works here," Alonzo said, "Is that China is away from everything, all that stuff that I'm familiar with." With so much progress already, the men are beginning to look forward to going home. Alonzo says he misses his fiance and two children most. Walt told reporters he misses driving his car, but is looking forward to going home. "Riding on the airplane over," he said "We had to get a seatbelt extension because we were so big. Now we can just get on that plane, sit down, and fly home. That's going to be a real thrill."