Oddly Enough

Woman striving to be world's heaviest

OLD BRIDGE, New Jersey (Reuters) - A New Jersey woman is waging a campaign to become the world’s heaviest living woman, admitting that she is as hungry for attention as she is for calorie-rich food.

Donna Simpson, 42, weighs more than 600 pounds (272 kg) and aims to reach 1,000 pounds (455 kg).

The mother of two children, ages 3 and 14, models on a website called, where admirers and the curious can pay to watch videos of her eating greasy foods or walking to the car.

She has appeared in television interviews and said she welcomes media coverage.

A Guinness World Records spokeswoman said Simpson has submitted a claim for the title of world’s heaviest woman to give birth, a claim that is being reviewed.

Among the heaviest women ever recorded was one who reportedly weighed 1,800 pounds (816 kg) and another who reportedly weighed 1,200 pounds (545 kg) at the time of their deaths.

Simpson said she has received a book offer and wants her own reality show, partly to give plus-size women more confidence. She wears size XXXXXL clothing, which she buys mostly online, and calls herself a member of the “fat acceptance community.”

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“The bigger your butt is, the bigger belly you have, the sexier you are,” Simpson said, lounging on the couch of her suburban home 40 miles south of New York.

Simpson has found a man who says he appreciates her size, and they plan to marry in Hawaii this year. She said airlines are being accommodating of her needs.

Her fiancee, 49-year-old Philippe Gouamba and the father of her 3-year-old daughter, said he not only finds Simpson attractive but is also one of Simpson’s biggest supporters in her quest to expand her girth.

“You look at her curves and see her full belly and generous hips,” Gouamba said. “It’s very sexy.”

Simpson said she gets e-mails from women who think they will never fall in love or have children because of their weight.

“I just say that’s not true,” Simpson said. “I would love to be a voice, so that people can see a woman of size having a regular family.”

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She said she also receives mail from people who say she is putting herself and her children at risk.

Simpson spends as much as $750 a week on groceries, suffers from Type 2 diabetes and struggles with basic tasks such as cooking and taking a shower.

But she dismisses critics who warn that her weight can lead to heart problems, aggravate her diabetes and cause pressure on her joints.

“I’m very healthy. I go to the doctor every three months,” she said.

Simpson has battled weight issues all her life and was mercilessly teased. But after a friend died following complications from gastric bypass surgery, she decided to quit the dieting and the weight pills and eat what she wanted.

“I’ve always been comfortable with myself,” she said. “It was just everybody else that wasn’t comfortable with me.”

Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Xavier Briand