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Big spenders

Health bosses are spending millions rebuilding an obesity clinic in Rissen, Austria, because their XXL patients are getting even fatter.

Designers have created wider doors, reinforced beds with thicker mattresses, two metre-wide operating gowns and even super-sized paper undies.

Officials say people have grown larger and larger since the clinic first opened and a typical patient can now weigh more than 40 stone.

Hospital spokesman Dr. Wolfgang Tigges said_ "In the last year the number of patients with a body mass index of more than 40 has increased by 70 per cent. They typically weight between 200 and 300 kilos."

Experts blame a lack of exercise and bad eating habits for the change.

Local firefighters agree, saying that the number of call outs to winch obese people out of their home has grown from 21 a year to 424 a year since 2004.

"We now have a special fire engine just for this with a steel reinforced bed and places for the 15 firemen we need to carry it when it's fully loaded with a patient," said a spokesman.

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