There's obviously a lot wrong with food culture and food in the United States
I feel there's a lot wrong with the TV show "My 600-lb Life" on The Learning Channel as well ( first, it's a weird channel that has shows about wedding dresses, which I didn't think would be on a channel prescribed as a"learning channel" ) But aside from its problematic parent channel, showcasing exploitative reality shows and very little really informative content, the show is problematic in itself and what it portrays
One of my biggest problems with it is how these severely obese ADDICTED people are "helped"
The people featured in this program have serious addictions to food, and they should be in rehab, just like alcoholics and drug addicts go into rehab to deal WITH THEIR addictions
But they don't. They just put them in the hospital for a bit, put them on a liquid diet, then discharge them when they've lost some weight and tell them to do the rest on their own.
Then when they fail, as they inevitably do, the doctor scolds them, shames them, reminds them they are dying, and tells them to quit playing games
It is seriously obtuse
How are people who didn't practice healthy eating habits to the point where they got over six hundred pounds going to change overnight their eating habits? They probably don't even know how to cook, and they don't even know what constitutes good food
In this rehab, that I would imagine for these patients, they would get classes, information, TRAINING as to what is healthy, and how to prepare it
If they offer classes to diabetes at diabetes clinics on how and what to eat, and how to administer insulin, why not a class connected to the rehabilitation of a food-addicted person?
How to shop, how to wash produce, how to chop produce, how to manage your time, how to store food, how to save for later
Why processed foods are bad and why you should avoid them
What really struck me about this program is when these patients get sent to live in an apartment in Houston Texas ( where the weight loss surgeon resides) to lose the requisite weight before approval for weight loss surgery, and they have nothing to do. You see these people just moping around their apartment, laying in bed, not knowing what to do with themselves, and willfully resisting exercise or preparation of food
Fine. They are too big to go grocery shopping; they cannot even leave the apartment without huge amounts of help. But whoever is helping them could buy them good food, and these people, instead of sitting around bored and tempted to eat, could be standing on their feet ( which is also a form of exercise), cooking
Washing, prepping, freezing, thawing, chopping, COOKING IS WORK
It can also be therapeutic. And I get it, not everyone enjoys cooking, but I'm sure you'd get a good portion of these patients who would enjoy it, and it would be tremendously helpful to them
When I think about how much work I put into preparing food from scratch because I am at a point in my life where I absolutely loath restaurants and resent how expensive and unsatisfactory most of the food offered is, I realize it is practically a second jobs and it's A LIFESTYLE
Maybe they DO offer these patients classes about...food?
Well, I have seen episodes where patients go to therapists, and one went to water therapy.
Otherwise, of the episodes I've seen, none of them has taken patients on trips to learn about food preparation, anon one comes to their house to help them out with that
I shared an office at a former job with a woman who went on a plant-based diet for a documentary.
She was given a manual and some lessons on how to cook and what-not, but she found herself reverting to a few very simple standbys ( like a bowl of unsalted, no oil or butter popcorn for dinner) and after she lost the weight, no support for how to continue and maintain her weight loss
She went back to eating the foods that got her into trouble in the first place : fried chicken, fast food, snack chips.
She went from eating a diet of almost all processed foods to a few vegan staples and then her support was dropped; that's hard for someone who has few developed notions about unprocessed food
Basically, the show reflects America's dysfunctions with food - it doesn't address the problem of processed foods, it doesn't address the lack of a wholesome food cultures and it doesn't promote individuals making their own food to stay healthy
Lara Daniels went to nutrition school, but the internship was too expensive