Why don’t TLC shows about massively obese people confined to bed ever explore why their family members keep bringing them food?

Over the past several years there’s been quite a few TLC programs focusing on people weighing close to 1,000 pounds, showing gruesome footage of their gastric bypass surgeries and other unsightly details.

Yet not once spending some time visiting the enabling aspect of these situations  —  the enabling spouse or family member who keeps bringing tremendous amounts of food to their super obese loved-one who cannot get out of bed.

Is TLC afraid to broach the enabling component of super morbidly obese people?

Does TLC think that viewers would rather watch the surgeons slice away at grisly layers of fat to rearrange intestines  —  a most ghastly sight  —  than hear from the enabler why he or she is an enabler? These surgery scenes are extended.

The viewer doesn’t expect the enabler of super morbidly obese people to give a Freudian explanation; we just want to hear what they have to say  —  why they find it so difficult to just say no to the food addict.

 What is TLC afraid of? 

“Part of the problem is lack of awareness,” begins David Sack, MD, a psychiatrist specializing in addiction disorders, and CEO of Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu and Los Angeles.

“The public, and even the mental health field, has been slow to recognize that food can fuel addictive patterns in much the same way as drugs like heroin and cocaine.

“Just as family and friends can enable drug and alcohol abuse, they can become enablers to the food addict or compulsive overeater.”

TLC should devote an entire program to investigating enablers of obese family members who are confined to bed.

This would be far more intriguing than listening to the surgeon give commentary as he examines various folds of fat on the patient’s back.

“There also may be a reluctance to point the finger at people who, at least on the surface, appear to be trying to help,” says Dr. Sack.

“In many ways, obesity enablers are hostages and victims in their own right and require compassion and treatment just like the addicts they’re enabling.”

Nevertheless, I was so angry at Cheryl for becoming irate when a surgeon told her she had to help her 900 pound husband, Ricky Naputi, lose 100 pounds before he could qualify for surgery.

She stormed out of the room upon hearing this requirement.

But TLC didn’t explore why she reacted this way. It would have been LESS work for Cheryl to help Ricky lose weight  —  less food shopping, less food preparation, less cleaning, less money spent.

Why was she so mad? TLC owed viewers an explanation instead of leaving us hanging.

Maybe Cheryl was asked off-camera and refused to answer?

But what about the many other enablers? Do ALL of them refuse to share their insight about their enabling ways, yet have no qualms about revealing other issues such as no sex life or past sexual abuse?

Or perhaps some enablers have begged TLC to spend some time on the enabling issue, but TLC refused?

It’s anyone’s guess, because this component of the super morbidly obese lifestyle is kept well-hidden.

The only case I’m aware of in which the enabling was significantly focused on was the riveting case of Billy Robbins.

Much of the show centered on why his mother overfed him since childhood, such that by age 18, he weighed 800 pounds and spent most time in bed.

“Enabling is a topic morbidly obese individuals and their caretakers may be loathe to talk about because of the shame and confusion they feel,” says Dr. Sack. “They may avoid seeking help for fear of judgment from others.”

Dr. Sack is a sought-after media expert and has appeared on “Dateline NBC,” “Good Morning America,” “The Early Show,” and “The Doctors,” among many other outlets.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 
Source: nydailynews.com/life-style/health/world-fattest-man-died-900-pounds-article-1.1353829