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Fattest Teen Regains 200 Pounds Lost and More

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ABERDARE, Wales) -- Georgia Davis, known as "Britain's fattest teenager," was the center of attention when she lost half her body weight at a camp in North Carolina in 2009.

But 16 months later, she has regained even more -- 224 pounds -- much to the ridicule of her countrymen.

Today, 17-year-old Davis is five-foot-six and weighs nearly 460 pounds. She had lost 202 pounds at Wellspring Academy of the Carolinas in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

"Unbelievable," said one commenter on the story that appeared in Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "By the way, who paid for her attendance at fat camp?"

"Where is she getting the money from to buy all this much food," said another. "Surely, even benefits won't cover the cost of what she is eating every day."

"If you don't put food in your mouth, you don't get fat -- end of story," said a third commenter.

But doctors say the morbidly obese face psychological and physiological problems that prevent them not only from keeping weight off, but losing it in the first place.

"The poor kid," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center. "The proximal cause of obesity is bad use of feet and forks -- too many calories and not enough exercise, an energy balance issue. The root cause for most of us is everything about modern living -- the availability of tasty, glow-in-the-dark foods, the marketing of food, every device so you don't use your muscles.

"Sometimes, it's psychological -- trauma in childhood, major self-esteem issues and depression -- when food is a Band Aid," Katz said. "Unless you treat those problems, the dependency on food doesn't go away."

Davis, who is from Aberdare in South Wales and has Type 2 diabetes, was told in 2008 she would die if she did not lose more than 200 pounds. At her current weight, doctors say she might not live past 20.

She paid nearly $6,000 to attend the North Carolina camp where she was treated by behavioral coaches, food psychologists and fitness trainers, and encouraged to walk 10,000 steps on a treadmill every day.

Davis said she began to gain weight after using food to comfort herself after the death of her father when she was 5.

From the age of 10, she cared for her sick mother and also was bullied at school by peers who called her lazy and said it was her own fault she was fat.

"I'd eat to comfort myself, and afterwards I'd feel worse and I'd eat again," said Davis.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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