TLC's Dr. Younan Nowzaradan gets dramatic weight-loss results with the morbidly obese people he treats on "My 600-lb Life." But he sometimes resorts to drastic measures to do so. Did he take it too far with Steven Assanti? Facebook fans reacted to Dr. Now's controversial fat-shaming of the 850-lb man. Do obesity concerns outweigh potentially damaging effects of body-shaming?

Dr. Now shocks Steven Assanti into weight-loss

Steven and Justin Assanti came to "My 600-lb Life" weighing 1,400 pounds between them. Steven Assanti was the heavier of the two and also the most combative. His bullying of dad, brother and hospital staff got him booted out of several gastric bypass surgery programs.

His obesity and opioid drug addiction were killing him but he wouldn't let anyone help. He over-ate and failed weight-loss on purpose. Dr. Now was his last hope and Steven knew it. As a last-ditch effort, Dr. Now did something unprecedented. He stood Steven in front of the mirror and shamed the obese man.

Reality TV doc gives patient reality check

Dr. Now pointed out to Assanti that his lymphedema and massive body made him look inhuman and animal-like. Up to then, Steven had been cocky and belligerent. But it was like all the sass drained out of him as he faced what he had become. Steven was one of the most annoying and least-liked "My 600-lb Life" patients. But It was still heart-breaking to witness his public shame. However, Dr. Nowzaradan's tactics might have also been just the reality check the young man needed.

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If he was ever to get bariatric surgery, he was going to have to lose weight to get to a point where it was safe to operate.

Body-shaming or speaking the truth?

It's in vogue right now among celebrities to decry fat-shaming. People who didn't like Kim Kardashian suddenly found themselves allied over "body-shaming." They declared her brave to share her cellulite. Actually, it was the paparazzi printing untouched photos. The "KUWTK" star normally runs images through Photoshop, and airbrush is liberally applied as well. It wasn't so much body-shaming as it was concern over plastic surgery gone awry. Kardashian's butt lift and breast implants seemed to be sagging. The "My 600-lb Life" doctor's "shaming" was prompted by fear, too.

Did Dr. Now's end justify his means?

The Reality TV physician's goal wasn't to humiliate Steven but to make him aware of how dangerous his weight had become. Very often, morbidly obese people stop looking in the mirror because they hate what they see. They continue to gain weight and ignore it. Making Assanti face himself made him also face his own immediate and certain mortality should he fail to lose weight. Looking in the mirror, he saw diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, high cholesterol and a host of other obesity-related problems looking back -- and it spurred Steven to start his road to recovery.