Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bariatric Surgery: Pulling the Gastric Bypass Trigger Too Soon

If losing weight were easy, we'd all be skinny.  If exercise were fun, we'd all be doing it.  If quitting cigarettes were effortless...

What should our response be toward rising societal tonnage?

A Weighty Issue
  • Pass laws restricting access to the wrong type of food.  Former Mayor Bloomberg got stiff-armed on this approach by the courts.  It's also always fun to watch folks argue over the definition of a 'wrong food'.  The debate on which foods warrant prohibition at least brings some entertainment into the public square.  Imagine trying to achieve consensus over 20 or so food items that should be banned.  If this task were actually accomplished, cigarettes and alcohol would still be legal.  Make sense?
  • Initiate a massive public education campaign to scare us skinny. Show ads of scary pictures with scary music reminiscent of an iconic anti-drug ad (This is your brain on drugs...) from a few decades ago.
         "This is your heart."  Screen shows cartoon of a happy and vigorously beating heart.
         "This is heart on ice cream."  Screen shows depiction of gasping and quivering organ, coughing up fat              globules.
          How would we fund this effort? Simple.  Tax the manufacturers of 'wrong food''.
  • Allow individuals to choose their food and beverages freely and to accept any health consequences of their decisions.  (LOL on steroids here.)
  • Give tax breaks for every 5% loss of excess body weight.  Interesting concept.  Might thin folks file a discrimination lawsuit here?
Most folks who are overweight want to be thinner.  The reasons why folks carry extra weight are complex and are not simply because they eat too much.  There is a powerful mental component that for many people is part of the problem and must be part of the solution.   Sure, caloric control is fundamental, but many overweight people do not eat just to satisfy hunger.  They do so for other reasons which must be attacked directly if a successful outcome is to be achieved and sustained. 

The quick fix has been luring folks with false promises for generations.  Infomercials on the air every day hawk agents that will melt fat away, although there always appears a disclaimer in a font size too small for the human retina to discern that states that 'results not typical'.  The threshold for recommending bariatric surgery is getting progressively lower, and it has not hit bottom yet.  My sense is that this treatment is becoming regarded as a routine remedy, rather than a last resort measure after multiple other attempts have failed.  I suggest that many dieters may not be as disciplined and determined with conventional weight loss programs knowing that a bariatric rescue is available. 

Obesity is a serious health issue without an easy external cure.  Weight  loss medicines are either ineffective or dangerous.  Fad diets don't work.  Gastric bypass surgery is a serious operation that profoundly changes every day of your life by design when it is working properly. 

Weight loss can be viewed as two distinct tasks.  Losing weight and maintaining the loss.
Success, in my view, will come from within. 

Weight loss is not a sprint, but is a long distance run.  Consider this point.  Very modest lifestyle changes over time can deliver big results.  Lose a pound per month, for example.  Do the math and calculate your new weight 2 years later.  This cold math works the same way if we gain a pound each month.

Write down your reasons why you are overweight.  Are these reasons stronger than you're desire and commitment to change?  If not, then get yourself to the starting gate.  Your marathon run is about to commence.


  1. Have you seen how much manual labourers used to eat in the 20s. Or how much weight lifters eat these days.

  2. I had my weight loss surgery through Allure medspa Consultants in India I don't regret it at all I had a baby since then and I'm still able to take the weight off so far i am very happy.

  3. I have had more than six relatives and friends that have had this surgery.

    At first, they look great.

    Then the skin really hangs and sags, especially around the arms, stomach, and legs. The sad thing is that they cannot afford the surgery to remove it as it is not covered by insurance.

    I know that this surgery is difficult, but it seems that a high number of people are getting it anyway, despite the risk and the cost.

    Most of my friends and relatives who have had this surgery put the weight back on within 6 years. I have figured it out. They just go back to their old ways of eating, and their stomach slowly expands to accommodate the added food.

    Another, younger relative told me she wanted the surgery. She is obese, doesn't exercise, and just eats what she wants. She is only 40, and is frustrated that her knees are buckling and hurt because of the added weight. She had just had knee replacement surgery on her right knee and was in a lot of pain.

    I told her that the best thing that she could do for her knees was loose some weight to relieve the weight pressure on the knees. Her answer to that was that she was planning to have the bariatric surgery, like her mother and aunt did.

    I told her that she wasn't fat enough to go through the risk of such. She looked like she was about 250 pounds. Since she is unemployed, I told her to go to the gym, or walk at the mall or in the neighborhood.

    She probably will end up just getting the surgery anyway, so why do I even speak up?

  4. I had RNY gastric bypass in 2001. I have put back on all 100 pounds I lost. Then I lost half of it again. Now I have gained most of that back. There are too many ways to "eat around" gastric bypass. I still cannot each very much food at one sitting - but I am a grazer, and I worked at home for many years, which made it worse. However, even though I hover around 300 pounds, I have no doubt I would be well over 400 pounds now if I hadn't had the gastric bypass.