A transformational experience. My 600-Lb. Life has changed many of its stars’ worlds throughout its run — and it shows no signs of slowing down.
The reality show premiered on TLC in February 2012, documenting the journeys of obese patients as they attempt to lose weight. Bariatric surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan (a.k.a. Dr. Now) oversees the process, which often involves developing new eating patterns and having a gastric bypass procedure.
“It just happened,” Nowzaradan told Houstonia magazine in October 2017 of how the series came to be. “I was operating on a lot of 600-pound people.”
The surgeon hoped that the show would be helpful not only to his patients but also to viewers and his colleagues. “We continue to try to provide education for everyone. That’s the reason I started the television series, [which] was to make an impression on the medical community that they should take care of these patients,” he explained at the 2016 ObesityHelp National Conference. “Another reason important to me was to have a show that provided inspiration for people and for the medical community with my hope to change [biased] opinions about morbidly obese people.”
Nowzaradan is known for his tough love approach, but he understands that his patients’ issues are complicated. “Their situation is not their choice. It is due to a metabolic and genetic predisposition for them, and they don’t have any choice,” he noted. “This is a disease that is beyond the high-risk patients’ control. … It isn’t due to a lack of discipline, it isn’t due to eating themselves to death.”
The doctor has his patients’ best interests at heart, even if he delivers news for which they are not prepared. “People come looking for a single solution to their problem, and sometimes the answer is not what they want to hear,” he told Houstonia. “They think surgery is the solution for everything. And it’s not going to change people’s behavior toward food.”
Nowzaradan feels a responsibility to assist where he can. “Looking at the moral obligation that we’ve got, you see somebody who has no life who could have a life,” he shared.
The reality star works overtime to care for as many people as possible, seeing 60 to 80 patients per day. Whether their appointments are filmed or not, he gives everyone the same treatment, insisting, “I never let the camera change my behavior toward any patient. I do exactly the same thing if the camera is there or not.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see where stars from My 600-Lb. Life are now.