Manuel Uribe, who rose to fame due to his severe morbid obesity and battle to reign in his weight, has passed away at the age of 48. According to the Associated Press
, Uribe was admitted to a Mexican hospital on May 2nd after suffering from an abnormal heartbeat and other complications related to liver failure. An exact cause of death has not yet been released.
In 2006, The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Uribe as the "World's Heaviest Man" after he topped the scales at 1,234 pounds.
"I had an obesity problem for many years, a very significant one. I was gaining and gaining weight. I was on every diet you can imagine," Uribe told ABC News' John Quiñones in January 2007.
"I used to eat normal, just like all Mexicans do … beans, rice, flour tortilla, corn tortilla, French fries, hamburgers, subs and pizzas, whatever regular people eat. I worked as a technician, repairing typewriters, electronic calculators and computers. So I worked on a chair. It was a sedentary life," he said.
After appealing for help on Mexican television, government officials responded by assigning a team of doctors and nutritionists to help Uribe drop the weight and regain some of his life back. Aa a result, Uribe lost more than 510 pounds - and was finally able to leave his room via a forklift - but the weight loss was still not enough to allow him to walk. At the time of his death, he had been bedridden since 2002, relying on friends and family to clean and feed him.
Despite his condition, Uribe never gave up hope of one day regaining his health and leaving his bed. During his time in the spotlight, he actively encouraged people to avoid unhealthy snacking and focus on making nutrition a larger part of their lives.
"I get lots of e-mails from people saying they are inspired by my progress and I want to get the word out about healthy eating," he said in 2008
. "I'm not against people who sell junk food, but you've got to be informed not to eat it."
You can watch a TLC documentary on Uribe below.