Since I usually go to bed around 9 pm, by the time the show was over at 10, I was more than ready for beddy-bye so I'm posting a few thoughts now. More will come to me, I'm sure.
First - the segment on the Pima Indians of Arizona - I agree that genetics could very well play a part in their health problems (the theory that the Pimas had for generations eaten a very sparse diet before adapting the WOE that has unfortunately been the American way since the end of WWII and that their bodies carry a "thrifty gene"). But there have been numerous other studies done on the Pimas, including one that compared the Arizona Pimas to those in Mexico who have not adapted the American lifestyle. The Mexican Pima women averaged 132 pounds, while the Arizona counterparts averaged 198; the Mexican Pima men weighed 153 pounds in comparision to 199 for the Arizona Pima males. In my opinion, it is not genes that are the cause for the Arizona Pima's health problems - it's the fact that they live in the United States and consume a lot more calories and are much more sedentary than their Mexican counterparts.
The diet camp segment also struck a chord with me. I myself attended a diet camp in Southern California for eight weeks in 1979, when I was 16 years old. I vividly recall it being one of the best summers of my life! Not only because of the weight I lost (I came to camp weighing 164 and left at 142 - wearing a pair of Calvin Kleins that I bought the last week) but I discovered, after painful years of hating PE in school, being picked last for teams, and just feeling like an overall klutz, that I actually ENJOYED participating in physical activities. It was also my first time not feeling like the fifth wheel - ignored by the popular kids. The only bad part about fat camp for me was my roommate - who was a nice person but she was the loudest snorer I have ever heard before (or since). It took me a few nights to get used to it...
The segment on 9-year-old Dylan who weighed 140 pounds - when he was talking about doing stuff like sneak eating - I find myself still doing that...I remember one day Mom bought a box of HoHo's and put them on top of the fridge, where we couldn't reach them. I must have been around 7 then (of course my parents had me on a diet at the time). Since I was deprived of sweets, but they were in the house, they called to me - so late at night, after everyone was asleep, I snuck into the kitchen (terrifying at night when the lights were out for a 7 year old!) and used a chair to sneak the HoHos. I kept going back until the box was gone - of course I got caught the next morning when Mom discovered chocolate bits in my bed!
If you want your kids to stay healthy and slender my suggestion would be to keep all the junk out of the house right from the get-go. Environmental control is very important -- who is healthier for eating cookies, potato chips, etc.? I'm not saying that kids should NEVER eat those things - rather that cake, cookies, candy etc should be regarded as 'special occasion' foods, not something for everyday. There's a great book out called "Save Your Child from the Fat Epidemic" by Gayle Povis Allman that I HIGHLY recommend.
Lastly - the segments on Mark (the 1400 pound man) and the woman who had weight-loss surgery - I felt like they left us hanging there -- hoping that the Discovery Channel does a followup show in six months or so to let us know their progress!