Pauline Potter, the new world record holder for the heaviest living woman says gaining the title will help spur her to a healthier life.

The 47-year-old from Sacramento, California has been confirmed as weighing 291.6 kg (643 lbs) by Guinness World Records™.

Pauline says her reason for getting in touch with Guinness World Records was to gain public attention for her situation, in the hope that an expert would see her story and want to help her lose weight.

Pauline Potter.jpg

Explaining her decision, Pauline says: "I got in touch with Guinness World Records to start with because I was tired of being this size".

"I knew I was getting close to 700 (pounds), but I wanted to get my story out there so that a doctor or nutritionist could help me," she added.

"Also I thought it would be a great opportunity to open the door for once I start losing, then maybe I could get another record for the woman losing the most weight."

Pauline, who has a 19-year-old son Dillon, cites her own upbringing as one of the main reasons for her situation.

Pauline Potter and son Dillon .jpg

While she believes that being overweight is in her genes, she describes her childhood as an "overabundance" of food, with snacks used to both reward and console.

"My mom was over 400 pounds and my dad over 600,' she said. 'I have eight siblings all which are over 300, except one", she explains.

"We were just raised, that if it was happy we'd celebrate with food, if it was sad, oh you fell down and skinned your knee, here's ice-cream."

Pauline says that when she was younger she did not feel motivated to lose weight and postponed weight loss to the point that her daily life is very difficult now.

She states that she has difficulty getting dressed and bathing, and that "everything in life is difficult at this size."

She currently requires a mobility scooter to get around and can no longer get into her car and in order to keep mobile she visits a warm water rehabilitation pool three to five times a week,

Despite her health issues, Pauline emphasises her positive attitude in life and calls herself a "people person". She has a variety of good friends and enjoys bingo, shopping and scrapbooking.