Study: Many Americans Too Fat To Commit Suicide

Top Headlines

Science & Technology

Astronomers Just Going To Go Ahead And Say Dark Matter Nitrogen

‘Fuck It, We’re Done,’ Say Scientists

WASHINGTON—Declaring that this is the last time they ever hope to speak of the aggravatingly enigmatic substance, astronomers from NASA announced Thursday that they are just going to go ahead and say that dark matter is nitrogen.

What We’ve Learned About Pluto

Nearly 10 years after its launch, the New Horizons space probe made a flyby 7,750 miles from Pluto, marking the first time in history a spacecraft has examined the dwarf planet up close, and NASA has begun to release data and images transmitted from the approach. Here’s what we’ve learned about Pluto so far

Timeline Of Mass Extinction

Scientists predict that human activity has put the world on the brink of the sixth mass extinction in earth’s history, an event characterized by the elimination of a large number of species within a very short period of time. Here is a timeline of extinction events over the planet’s history

Study: Floating Heap Of Trash Now Ocean’s Apex Predator

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Noting that no marine species posed a threat and the total domination of its habitat, a study released Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara revealed that the floating mass of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now the ocean’s apex predator.

Dementia Study Reveals Fond Memories First To Go

BALTIMORE—Researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a new study this week on the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other deteriorative brain disorders, finding conclusive evidence that dementia sufferers’ fondest memories are nearly always the first to go.

FDA Approves Female-Libido-Enhancing Man

WASHINGTON—In an effort to address the needs of women suffering from a lack of sexual desire, the FDA announced Tuesday that it had approved a new female-libido-enhancing man, which is expected to be made available to the general public by year’s end.

New Report Finds Humanity 10 Years Away From Something Called Ash Age

TUCSON, AZ—Explaining that the large-scale shift in geologic conditions and social organization would require a new taxonomic classification, researchers at the University of Arizona released a report Tuesday revealing that humanity is approximately 10 years away from something that will be called the Ash Age.

NASA Announces Bold Plan To Still Exist By 2045

WASHINGTON—In what is being described as the most ambitious mission ever undertaken in the space agency’s history, NASA officials announced at a press conference Tuesday their bold new plan to still exist by 2045.

YouTube Turns 10

On April 23, 2005, three former PayPal employees started a video-sharing site called YouTube, which has since grown into an influential media platform with over 1 billion users.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Geologists Unearth Fully Intact Rock

FORT COLLINS, CO—Describing the discovery as the most flawless specimen ever unearthed, a team of geologists working in northern Colorado announced Friday they had excavated a fully intact rock.

Rehabilitated Otter Released Back Into Food Chain

SAUSALITO, CA—Following nine months of surgeries and physical therapy to heal the aquatic animal’s debilitating injuries, officials from the Marine Mammal Center released a fully rehabilitated sea otter back into the food chain Tuesday.

Conservationists Attempting To Get Head Start On Mars

WASHINGTON—Fearing that any further delay might prevent their movement from having any meaningful impact, a consortium of leading conservationists confirmed Wednesday it is attempting to get a head start on preserving the planet Mars. The newly form...

Apple MacBook vs. Google Chromebook Pixel

Shortly after Apple debuted its new ultra-thin MacBook this week, Google announced its new Chromebook Pixel 2, which similarly boasts the new Type-C USB port and high-tech trackpad.

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Features Of The Apple Car

After dominating sales of smartphones, tablets, and other electronics, Apple is reportedly secretly designing its first car, code-named Titan.

2015 Tech Trends

Showcasing everything from wearable devices to self-driving cars and personal drones, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show revealed the latest in new technology.

Doctors Recommend Getting 8 Centuries Of Cryosleep

STANFORD, CA—Claiming that the practice is essential for effectively recharging the body and waking fully rested and alert, doctors at Stanford University issued a report Monday emphasizing the importance of getting at least eight centuries of atomi...

Scientists Receive $10 Million Grant To Melt Stuff

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt st...

Pfizer Releases Vintage Cask-Aged Robitussin

GROTON, CT—Touting the new offering’s full-bodied flavor and bold, fruit-forward bouquet, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer unveiled a vintage cask-aged variety of its popular cold medicine Robitussin on Friday. Labeled as Robitussin Reserve, the hi...

Apple Releases Brief, Fleeting Moment Of Excitement

CUPERTINO, CA—Ending weeks of anticipation and intense speculation, tech giant Apple unveiled a short and fleeting moment of excitement to the general public Tuesday during a media event at its corporate headquarters.

Startup Very Casual About Dress Code, Benefits

AUSTIN, TX—Touting the business’s laid-back, nontraditional corporate culture, Go-Go Maps founder and CEO Mike Hannasch explained to reporters Thursday that his company is pretty casual when it comes to employees’ dress code and benefits...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

House and Home

Deadline For Prior User To Remove Clothes From Dryer Extended 5 Minutes

JOHNSON CITY, TN—Upon finding the machine in her apartment building’s laundry room completely untouched since she last stopped by, exasperated local woman Sandra Hermus reportedly mounted all her magnanimity Monday and extended the deadline for the previous user to remove their clothing from the dryer by five minutes.

Business

Coworkers Pull Off Daring One-Hour Lunch Break

TUCSON, AZ—Saying they couldn’t believe such a wild exploit had even been attempted, employees at local marketing firm Synergy Media Services told reporters they were still completely dumbfounded Thursday after account manager Tim Gibbons managed to pull off a daring one-hour lunch break.

Study: Many Americans Too Fat To Commit Suicide

LOS ANGELES—A report published Monday in The New England Journal of Medicine warns that the nation's obesity epidemic has reached a new level of crisis, with many overweight Americans' increased girth rendering them physically unable to end their own, fat lives.

Americans who have no choice but to keep on living.

"We've known for some time that obesity can cause heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and other potentially life-threatening illnesses," said report author Dr. Marjorie Reese, director of UCLA's Obesity Pathology Clinic. "But the fact that obesity impedes suicide is truly troubling. It appears that the more reason people have to die, the less capable they are of doing so. They are literally trapped in their grotesque, blubbery bodies."

Of the one-third of Americans classified as obese, the report estimated 29 percent are too heavy, immobile, or both for suicide to be a viable option. This figure is up from 18 percent in 1996.

A full 70 pages of the report focus on suicide methods that are taken for granted by persons of normal weight but often present insurmountable challenges to their corpulent counter- parts.

For example, hanging oneself is most often out of the question. The report notes that a disturbing percentage of the obese are too large to ascend a footstool, too inflexible to kick it out from under them, and even if they could, are too heavy to remain atop it long enough to put their giant, flabby necks through a noose before the footstool shatters into splinters under their massive girth. Plus, as Reese writes, "even if all other variables were eliminated, the weight of these enormous individuals would probably break any indoor light fixtures or attic roof supports to which they might tie a rope."

Overdosing on narcotics is also impossible, according to Reese.

"Body fat absorbs toxins, so fat people simply cannot ingest enough bottles of sleeping pills to have any effect, much less stop their hearts," Reese said. "And slitting one's wrists in the bathtub is not an option if you can't find a butcher knife thick enough to reach the arteries under your rolls of wrist flab, or can't fit into the bathtub in the first place. All the self-loathing in the world is not going to help the obese get their meaty index fingers through the trigger guard, nor give them the flexibility to raise the pistol to their head. It's heartbreaking."

The report included detailed illustrations of extremely overweight people unable to bend over far enough to fit their heads into ovens, bobbing like corks while attempting to drown themselves, and becoming too winded scaling stairs to reach heights from which they could hurl their enormous bulk with fatal results. Another researcher at the Obesity Pathology Clinic has developed a computer model which demonstrates that even if the obese were able to jump off a skyscraper, their bodies would be "more likely to bounce than splat."

Yet health experts say that there is hope for these hulking individuals.

"The fat need to improve their eating habits and commit to a modest exercise regimen, even if it starts with just walking from room to room inside their houses," said Dianne Evans, a specialist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health. "If they keep that up for six to 12 months, most of these people could lose enough weight to be able to kill themselves with relative ease."

But Evans warned that losing too much weight too fast could have serious repercussions.

"What you want to avoid is a situation where someone comes down from 320 pounds to 240 in the span of a single year, and suddenly does not have the suicidal urges they once did," said Evans, who explained that the "sweet spot" of self-hatred and physical suicidal ability is extremely small. "If they mistake their all-but-meaningless improvement for a legitimate reason to live, their fat, revolting lives may be prolonged indefinitely."