A man who was once known as the “the fattest man in Asia” was arrested in Kaohsiung City after being on the run for more than year over criminal charges for fraud and embezzlement.
Wu Yi-zheng (吳奕政) first came to public attention in 2012, when at 19 years old he was said to be the fattest man in Asia. The teenager weighed 226 kilograms and was 163 centimeters tall at the time.
Wu made the news again the following year when he successfully lost 100 kilograms after weight-loss surgery. He had also grown 4 centimeters taller by that time.
News reports in 2013 noted that one of Wu’s aunts had passed away and left him a sum of money, which she hoped Wu could use to get medical help to slim down.
Wu used the money to pay for gastric bypass surgery. After losing the weight, Wu was said to have a happier, more lively personality, had improved interpersonal relationships, and expressed a desire to enter singing competitions, and also to find love.
On July 19, police in Kaohsiung City noticed a large and sturdy man on a bridge over the Erren River. Finding his behavior suspicious, police approached and questioned him.
Finding out that Wu was wanted on charges of fraud and embezzlement, police attempted to handcuff the suspect. However, Wu’s wrists were too large for the police handcuffs and the officers had to use ankle shackles instead.
Wu, who now weighs 150 kilograms, admitted that he had been evading criminal charges for more than one year, and expressed relief that he no longer had to hide.
Back in 2013, Wu shed enough weight to lose his title as the fattest man in Asia. However, the unfortunate distinction remained in Taiwan’s hands as a man named Lee, who lives in Pingtung County gained the title in 2014, weighing in at 261 kilograms.
Taiwan has the highest obesity rates in Asia. National Health Service statistics suggest that 43% of the population is overweight, up from 37.4% in 2008.
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