How does this story make you feel? What would you do with more support?

IT’S by far the biggest challenge I have ever undertaken.

I was asked to try to help the fattest, laziest family in Britain to get up off their backsides and lose their blubber.

Six months ago, the Chawners, a family of four, weighed a total of 92st.

Their progress since then has been a rollercoaster of emotions which is set to be shown in a new six-part series.

It will have you shouting at your TV screen.

The family, from Blackburn, were thrust into the limelight after youngest daughter Emma made a much-maligned appearance on The X Factor.

Emma, her big sister Sam, mum Audrey and dad Phil ended up becoming a national joke.

They were held up as an example of a feckless underclass who don’t work and lay slumped in front of the TV stuffing their faces with deep-fried lard.

The Chawner family claimed thousands in benefits and their ailments cost the NHS a small fortune.

Even so, I wanted to give them the chance to show they could turn their lives around.

When I first met the family more than six months ago, they were all morbidly obese and horrendously unfit.

First, I had to arrange for them all to have full physical check-ups — I was utterly shocked at the results.

Dad Phil weighed nearly 25st and had been told he had less than five years to live unless he changed his lifestyle.


His heart was simply unable to cope with his hugely overweight body.

At that first meeting the family could barely hoist themselves up from the sofa — changing them would not be easy.

Mum Audrey was 22st. At only 60in high — or 5ft — and with a 60in waist, she was rather like a giant ball.

She seemed to have been on a mission to fatten up her girls from the day they were born. Meals were full of fat, sugar and processed food.

Fresh fruit and vegetables were strangers in the Chawner home and there was almost constant snacking on the worst possible junk food.

The only time the family left their settee was to throw more artery-clogging platefuls of grub down their necks.

Clearly, this would all have to change. But the whole family promised me faithfully they were fully committed to the challenge.

They declared they would take all the help and advice on offer and not let me down. They promised to stick to the diet and exercise plan religiously.

It soon became apparent, however, that although mum Audrey said all the right things her heart wasn’t really in it.

I think she would have been far happier just to have been left on her settee with her cakes and biscuits watching an endless loop of soaps and gameshows.

If the Chawners can do it, then there’s no excuse for any other fat person not to at least make an attempt to change.

Leave a Reply