More than one-third of American adults simply "pull up their pants" and go about life carrying an alarmingly high amount of excess body weight. Over the past 20 years, obesity in this country has risen steadily, costing more than $140 billion a year in medical expenses. "I think I weighed about 450, 460 at my heaviest," rapper Fat Joe said earlier this year to Billboard. "[I thought,] I'm rich now, I can go to Mr. Chow's and eat me all the lobster and steak I want... And I always took pride in being fat, that's why my name was Fat Joe." But Fat Joe had big problems. For 16 years, the Terror Squad captain battled diabetes, the result of his overindulgent diet. And since 2000, six of his closest and heaviest friends died of heart attacks. "I realized at a certain point, all my big people were dying. I couldn't see a clearer picture — what's the difference between me and him, of me being in a casket?" Today, however, Joe's bigger than ever, only this time it's his music career that's tipping the scale, and not his body size.
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