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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Asks if She Should Dump Man Who Ditched Her

DEAR ABBY: I have had a best friend for more than 20 years. We've known each other since fourth grade. We have always been able to discuss everything and anything honestly. However, my friend has gained a frightening amount of weight during the last two years. She appears to be at least 100 pounds over her normal weight, but she absolutely refuses to talk about it. Meanwhile, she eats up a storm!

Every time I mention it, she gets angry and cuts me short. I am worried about her blood pressure and even a possible heart attack because heart trouble runs in her family. She's a beautiful, generous person anad I love her dearly, but this lady is killing herself. What can I say without alienating her?

Someone asked her recently when her "baby" was due, and it really hurt her feelings. -- A HEAVY PROBLEM

DEAR PROBLEM: I assure you that no one knows better than your friend that she is dangerously overweight, but until she wants to do something about it, no one can help her, so don't nag her.

The biggest favor you can do her would be to get her to see her doctor. Talk about "health," not weight. She could have a compulsion to overeat for one of a number of reasons. Morbidly obese people need psychological help as well as a nutritious eating program, but it all has to start in a physician's office. If you can work a miracle, you may save your friend's life by starting there. Good luck.