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'My 600-lb Life' Season 5 star James King dies aged 49 after going on to weigh 840 pounds

King began season 5 of 'My 600-lb Life' at 791 lbs when he was 46 years old. King was the heaviest contestant in the show's history at the time. TLC said that they were "deeply saddened" by his death
UPDATED SEP 18, 2023
James King (TLC)
James King (TLC)

James King, whose story was explored in season 5 of TLC’s 'My 600-lb Life' in 2017, has died at age 49.

King's obituary stated that he passed away at Saint Thomas Midtown in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday. The obituary also revealed that funeral arrangements for King will be made private and will strictly adhere to the government's health and safety directives.

That said, King leaves behind a sizeable family as he's survived by his wife Lisa, his four daughters Carrie, Krystle, Courtney and Bayley, his two sons Daemian and Austin, and his 19 grandchildren.

TLC expressed how they were "deeply saddened" by his death. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time," the network said in a statement on Facebook.

King began season 5 of 'My 600-lb Life' at 791 pounds and was 46 years old. While King was the heaviest contestant in the show's history at the time, he went on to weigh 840 pounds following his appearance.

According to TMZ, King died of complications from past health maladies that included sepsis and cirrhosis of the liver.

King is the seventh alum of the TLC show to die. He follows Henry Foots, Sean Milliken, James "LB" Bonner, Lisa Fleming, Rob Buchel, and Kelly Mason, according to People magazine.

The reality TV series recently explored the story of 24-year-old Megan Davis, who weighs over 600 pounds and wakes up each day thinking she’ll die.

Although food is killing her, Davis revealed to producers it’s the only thing that brings joy to her. Meanwhile, her mother lets her eat as it brings her comfort.

Davis says “it’s everything to me” as she confesses her addiction to food.  She only steps out to go to the store and having so many things to choose from makes it feel like Christmas for her. Davis goes on to call it the “best place in the world”.

Food has been helping Davis escape momentarily from a miserable life that she’s been leading. However, she feels the things other people have done to her led her to be what she is today. Recounting her childhood memories, Davis revealed that her stepsisters were jealous and they treated her like she was the outcast. Her mother was a working woman and hence Davis would hang out with her father. But, things got worse between her and her stepsisters as they grew up. 

Spending time with her father was Davis’s only safe place and he would shower her with loads of junk food. She was over 200 pounds by the time she was five, but her father never stopped her from eating despite being told by her mother to watch her diet. 

Her parents got divorced when she was seven, which further enabled her weight. Her dependency on food increased as her parents’ relationship fell apart. The rest of Davis’s life followed incidents of dropping out of school, giving up on dreams of being a pediatrician and taking up jobs that didn’t need her to stand. 

Even medical conditions and blood clots couldn’t stop Davis from eating. She says she doesn’t have a life, as her weight is keeping her from meeting someone and having a family. Now that Davis feels she’s nearing the end, unless a miracle stops it, she’s considering weight-loss surgery to put her life back on track. 

'My 600-lb Life' airs Wednesdays on TLC.