Did anyone watch the recent series, My 600-lb Life
on TLC? I caught one episode last month at a relative's house (I don't usually watch TLC as I don't have cable TV and it's not on Hulu) and found the rest on YouTube.
The series is somewhat different than the current and unfortunate "fatsploitation" trend in that it followed each gastric bypass patient for a full seven years. However, as usual for these series, nutrition was not covered enough, other than showing how much junk food the patients and their relatives were eating. Of course an immediate post-op bypass patient really wouldn't be able to eat the way McDougall recommends; there's just not enough room in the reduced-sized stomach for that much fiber. But eating a McDougall diet style would have prevented these patients from getting to 600 pounds in the first place, no doubt, and certainly could have helped them even once they got to that point.
The series did show many serious complications that can arise, not just from the initial surgery, but from the numerous skin reduction surgeries afterward. One patient spent three months in the hospital following a skin reduction as her wounds would not close, another had his heart stop and had to be resuscitated when he ran out of clotting factor, and a third developed a life-threatening autoimmune disease, slipped into a coma, spent a year in the hospital (and would have stayed longer had his insurance company not complained) and became wheelchair bound. That last patient also gained back quite a bit of the weight that he lost.
Despite all these setbacks, in the "where are they now" episode all four agreed that the gastric bypass surgery saved their lives, and were enthusiastic about it. Coupled with the fact that the sole cameraman and executive producer of the series was the son of the surgeon who performed all of the surgeries, this read to me like an advertisement for gastric bypass. Quite disturbing.
I wish some TV company would pay for obese patients to go to McDougall's live-in program, but I guess that just wouldn't make for as exciting TV as seeing someone code blue in the hospital. Not to mention the sight of 40+ pounds of excess skin removed from one of the patients and lying on a table; I fear I will never get that image out of my brain.