Time to stop glorifying morbid obesity?
Fox News – “My 600-lb Life” star Sean Milliken has died at 29.
Milliken was hospitalized in Houston two days prior for an infection.
Milliken’s weight soared to 900 pounds before he sought help on “My 600-lb Life.”
On the show, Milliken, then 25, admitted that he had trouble controlling his emotions and would seek comfort in food when he was under distress.
Milliken’s mother, Renee, confessed she too had an eating disorder and admitted she likely contributed to Sean’s struggles, saying “I probably overcompensated in a lot of ways. I couldn’t go to the store without bringing him home a treat.”
Milliken’s struggles with his weight worsened in high school, when he was up to 400 pounds and suffered a debilitating leg injury that left him bedridden — and in the eight years following the injury, he barely ever left his bed, even relieving himself in a bucket at the end of it, because standing up was so painful.
He suffered from several open sores at that time from his skin tearing under his weight. His mother and a family friend had to work together to bathe him. Read more.
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‘My 600-lb Life’
‘My 600-lb Life’ is a reality television series that has aired on the TLC television network since 2012. Each episode follows a year in the life of morbidly obese individuals, who begin the episode weighing at least 600 pounds, and documents their attempts to reduce their weight to a healthy level.
Update episodes, called “Where Are They Now?”, feature one or more previous patients, picking up a year or more after their original episodes aired.
Patients are placed under the care of Iranian-American Houston surgeon Younan Nowzaradan (often referred to as simply “Dr. Now”), who first has them attempt losing weight on their own by following a strict diet, and then depending on the patient’s progress may offer gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy to further assist in weight loss.
This series was originally a five-part miniseries involving four morbidly obese patients. Because of its popularity, new episodes were filmed, including a “Where Are They Now?” retrospective in Season 4 that follows up on previous patients to track their weight-loss journey months or years after bariatric surgery.
In Season 1, patients were filmed over a period of seven years (2004–2011). Beginning with Season 2, patients were filmed for only one year.
Beginning with Season 5, new episodes will be filmed as 2-hour episodes instead of 1-hour. This was previously done with Melissa’s Story (split into two parts) and Lupe’s Story. Recap episodes titled under “Supersized” and “Extended”, which include additional facts and footage respectively, also aired during this season.
As of February 2019, all but five of the patients involved in this series are still alive despite their potentially life-threatening condition of morbid obesity.
- Henry Foots, who was featured in season one, died of an illness unrelated to his weight loss surgery in 2013.
- Robert Buchel was featured in season six and died in November 2017 during filming of the show, as a result of a heart attack while staying in a skilled nursing facility in Houston. Buchel’s death was the first in the series to be featured during the patient’s respective episode.
- James “L.B.” Bonner, who was also featured on the sixth season of the show, died on August 2, 2018, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
- Lisa Fleming, a sixth season participant, died on August 23, 2018.
- Sean Milliken, who was chronicled on the fourth season of the show, died on February 17, 2019.
- Susan Farmer, who appeared in an episode on the show’s third season, notably faced neuropathy as a result of her weight, which was profiled on the show.
Beginning in January 2015, TLC began airing My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now? The purpose of this spin-off was to update viewers on the weight loss journeys of people featured on previous seasons. As of 2018, four seasons of the Where Are They Now? follow-ups have aired.
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