Cousins Naomi Anderson, Chitoka Light and Drew Stewart are all bonded by blood, and by their shared struggle with obesity.
Combined, the family members weigh just under 2,000 lbs., and are battling for their lives on TLC’s new show, Family By the Ton.
Stewart, 43, is addicted to eating.
“I need to knock off this overeating before it kills me,” he says in this exclusive clip. “If you’re on drugs, you can hide it. If you’re an alcoholic, you can hide it. But if you’re fat, everyone sees your problem.”
Light, 49, is bed-ridden and hasn’t gone outside in three years.
“I have struggled with my weight all my life. I’m tired of this bed being my existence,” she says. I feel sad and embarrassed that I’ve allowed my life to come to this.”
And the youngest of the three, Anderson, 30, wants to start a family of her own, but knows that it’s tough at her weight.
“No one made me fat, I made myself fat,” she says.
The cousins are all considering weight loss surgery to salvage their lives.
“My whole family is suffering from morbid obesity. If we don’t change things, someone’s going to die,” Anderson says. “Drew, Chitoka and I are all debating whether or not to get this surgery, but we’re all scared.”
The family consults with Dr. Charles Procter, Jr., who warns them that they need to make a change.
“Many of the family members are eating themselves to death,” he says. “Essentially without the surgery, they could die.”
Family By the Ton premieres on Jan. 10 at 10/9c on TLC.