Opinion Brief

'World's fattest woman': Should she be stopped?

A New Jersey mom eats 12,000 calories a day in a bid to push her weight to a world-record 1,000 pounds. But is her quest abusive toward her 3-year old daughter?

Despite holding the honor of being the "world's fattest mother," Donna Simpson, 42, wants a greater glory: World's heaviest woman. Currently tipping the scales at 600 pounds, the New Jersey native eats 12,000 calories a day as part of her quest to break a half ton. While her husband supports her 1,000-pound ambitions — as well as her choice to earn a living as an online fetish model — some commentators are concerned about the implications for Simpson's 3-year old daughter. Is such self-destructive behavior by a mother tantamount to child "abuse"? (Watch an interview with Donna Simpson)

Authorities should consider taking her children: This woman "clearly has an eating disorder," says Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle. "Any medical professional would tell her that she should lose weight, not gain it." Plus, "she's setting a horrible example for her children," who are now "bound to have eating issues of their own." The only question that remains is: "Should her children be taken away from her?""World's fattest mom"

Nonsense—she's teaching them ambition: Simpson's story certainly is surprising, says Jeremy Taylor in Asylum. And she's probably going to "eat herself to death." But the "competitive spirit" it takes to "strive for such girth" is impressive — and instructive. If you're going to do something with your life, "you might as well go big.""Would you like to see this woman reach the 1,000 pound mark?"

This problem is bigger than Donna Simpson: Not only is Simpson being unfair to her own children, says Rod Dreher in Beliefnet, she's also adding to "America's obesity epidemic." That problem "is going to end up costing all of us an estimated $344 billion" by 2018. With that burden falling on the next generation, Simpson should be ashamed of herself."Freedom and the fat of the land"

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