Over 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Who's to blame for the growing problem of obesity? The answer might seem simple, but the TLC reality television show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates that it's really quite complex. Show celebrities Sean Milliken, Steven Assanti, and James K. failed weight-loss and you'll be surprised to learn who Dr. Younan Nowzaradan holds primarily responsible.

900-lb Sean Milliken isn't to blame for obesity?

That's what Dr. Now said in Sean's update episode. By his late teens, Sean Milliken was bedridden with crippling obesity. But the "My 600-lb Life" bariatric surgery doctor said Sean didn't get that way by himself. Sean had an enabling mother who helped him gain weight. Dr. Now as good as accused Renee Milliken of killing her son. This "smother mother" showed signs of Munchausen by proxy, a condition in which the parent has a vested interest in keeping the child ill.

Steven Assanti and dad fail weight-loss

Steven Assanti may not have a Munchausen by Proxy parent who loves the attention that sick kids afford. His dad didn't seem to thrive on being needed, as Milliken's mom did. Mr. Assanti understood that his son was an opioid drug addict who existed on Tramadol and hydrocodone. Dad warned doctors not to prescribe Vicodin or oxycodone painkillers. Steven's father also overfed his son to 850 pounds.

"My 600-lb Life" showed the Rhode Island dad bringing his son pizza while they were awaiting gastric bypass surgery. The enabling father catered to his bossy, belligerent son's every demand and Dr. Now linked this to weight gain.

Dr. Now goes after James K's family

Probably the saddest of enablers on "My 600-lb Life" are James K's girlfriend and daughter. His teen girl had to drop out of school to care for her morbidly obese dad.

She had to toilet, clean up after, and cook for the uber-controlling James. Dr. Now accused the girlfriend of creating James' obesity and fomenting his lymphedema, ongoing cellulitis and other health conditions. Unlike Renee Milliken, who seemed unfazed by the criticism, James' girlfriend took it to heart. She felt guilty about her boyfriend's overeating.

Obesity, weight-loss, and personal responsibility

James K.'s girlfriend actually felt worse about his health than he did and that's another issue with enabling. The enabler, usually a family member or spouse, takes responsibility for the morbidly obese person.

You might wonder why Dr. Now would then fault enablers. The "My 600-lb Life" reality television show is all about personal responsibility, but in crippling obesity, people can only eat themselves to diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure and death if someone is feeding them. When enablers practice self-care and quit caregiving, the obese person cares for themselves, and ultimately loses weight.

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