My 600-Lb Life Fans Are Comparing Dr. Now's Strategy To Other Doctors

Over the past decade, TLC has featured the wellness journeys of numerous individuals on the hit series "My 600-lb Life." From patients like Robert Buchel to Cynthia Wells, each and every story on the show varies, but there's always one common thread throughout each episode — Dr. Younan Nowzaradan. 

Each person featured on "My 600-lb Life" makes the difficult road trip to Dr. Now's office in Houston, Texas, where they're all greeted by the bariatric surgeon in the same fashion: "Hello, how y'all doing?" For the most part, Dr. Now gives them all the same instructions — stick to a 1,200-calorie per day diet and lose a certain amount of weight in the next month.

While some patients thrive and are quickly approved for surgery, others struggle to follow Dr. Now's plan for a variety of reasons, including food addiction, loved ones who enable their habits, and battles with their mental health.

Some fans of "My 600-lb Life" have wondered if his method is comparable to other bariatric surgeons. A few who received the surgery revealed the truth.

Bariatric surgery recipients reveal how Dr. Now compares to their doctors

On Reddit, u/hamsterwaffles shared how, when they underwent weight loss surgery in 2019, they were required to lose over 100 pounds, but received more support and tools than Dr. Now's patients. This user benefited from meeting with a dietitian and joining area support groups, two things that are almost never shown on "My 600-lb Life."

This user said, "I get frustrated when someone with a low IQ, battling major depression, suffering severe past trauma, with zero knowledge of healthy eating skills, is given a pamphlet and sent home..."

U/chalkyquinn found Dr. Now's approach to be in line with what they experienced during the weight loss surgery process in 2008. For example, this user was required to lose 5 percent of their body weight before qualifying for the procedure. The difference between the show and many practices, said u/chalkyquinn, is that Dr. Now completes skin removal surgeries when, typically, this is done by a plastic surgeon. "I kinda suspect that he doesn't actually do them, that they just make it look that way for the show, but who knows," this user said.

As for u/god-in-this-chilis, who previously worked at a bariatric surgery center, they found the idea of Dr. Now being these patients' only option to be unbelievable. "There are comprehensive bariatric surgery centers all over," this user said. "They talk about 'Dr. Now's program' like it's something one of a kind..."

Dr. Now's approach is different from another TLC surgeon

As noted by many fans of the show, Dr. Now's strategy can differ from non-reality TV doctors, but it also varies from another bariatric surgeon on TLC. One of the newest healthcare professionals to appear on the network is Dr. Eric Smith of Georgetown Bariatrics & Advanced Surgical Services (via Lexington 18). One of Smith's best-known patients includes "1000-lb Sisters" star Tammy Slaton.

In Smith's opinion, it's OK if a patient takes more than one month to qualify for surgery. Emotional struggles, co-dependent relationships, and food addictions must be tackled first. "We have to get to the bottom of that, and so many times, it takes months to work through that before we do essentially the easy part, and that's me doing surgery," Smith said in an interview.

Unlike Dr. Now, who has a very no-nonsense attitude when patients fall off track, Smith showed empathy when Tammy hit rock bottom and even paid her a visit at home. Though Tammy assumed Smith would get angry when she informed him of her new drinking habits, he assured her, "I'm not gonna come in your house and lecture you." Smith was willing to listen to Tammy in a non-judgmental way, which resonated with her. Soon after Smith's visit, she agreed to return to rehab and lost over 100 pounds (via The Sun).

Notably, many fans have called for a showdown between Tammy and Dr. Now.