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Raúl de Molina survived kidney cancer at age 46, but his struggle with excess weight has been longer and not necessarily less difficult.
At the end of 2018, the host of Univisión's entertainment news show El Gordo y la Flaca — The Fattie and the Skinny — weighed 317 pounds. At his height, which the IMDB pegs at 5 feet, 8 inches tall, his body mass index (BMI) was 48, in the extremely obese category.
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So he made the decision to enter a Miami-area rehabilitation center, not only to lose weight but also to take charge of his health and modify his eating habits. After seven weeks in which he followed a strict regimen that combined diet and exercise, he lost 40 pounds.
De Molina's fight against extra pounds is ongoing, he said in an exclusive interview with AARP en español earlier this summer. He entered the rehabilitation program again in June.
More than three years ago, he lost almost 50 pounds as a diet-drink spokesman. And a decade ago, he lost 90 pounds, thanks to a different popular diet, but gained much of the weight back.
At the start of summer, he weighed 274 pounds and wanted to lose more.
His biggest concern? “I am worried I may get diabetes,” said the host, who will start his 22nd year on El Gordo y la Flaca with flaca Lili Estefan in mid-September. It airs at 4 p.m. ET weekdays on Univisión.
More than 12 percent of Latino adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. But type 2 diabetes isn't de Molina's only risk.