Mythbusting Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery Myths Part 3
You’ve told your friends and family that you are actively trying to lose excessive weight. Everyone is happy for you, and helps however they can and offers support.
You’ve genuinely tried dieting and exercising repeatedly, and nothing happens. Maybe you’ve lost 10 to 20 lbs of your 100 lb goal, but hit a plateau that lasts more than a few weeks. What do you do?
You decide to consider weight loss surgery and the immediate reactions of those loved one’s shift.
Some of them are calling you lazy for taking ‘the easy way out’, others are worried for your life, and are telling you to consider a will.
Why the sudden shift in attitude? Aren’t your loved ones supposed to be supportive of you?
This shift in attitude is the ever-present double standard in American culture when it comes to how people view obesity and weight loss which is based more on societal stereotypes and conditioning instead of legitimate scientific study or fact.
We are going to be busting several logical fallacies that are common in American culture regarding weight loss surgery and obesity.
Weight Loss Surgery is not Affective
This is one I hear the most, and to be honest, I can kind of see why people would think that. I’ve heard stories of “friends of friends “or have seen examples of people who gain some weight back. I have also seen people stick with it and it totally change the lives of patients for the better. I also know that there are almost always follow up surgeries involved as well as complications that do come after a major surgery like Gastric Bypass. Why is that the case? Is there more to the story?
According to several studies, it turns out that not all weight loss surgeries are created equal.
There are three types of Gastric Bypass procedures that physicians use in their arsenal against obesity: the lap band, traditional gastric bypass surgery, and the sleeve. In a 2016 JAMA study, the veteran patients were studied for four years after their initial weight loss surgery. The Bypass patients lost 27% of their bodyweight, the sleeve patients lost 17% and the lap band patients lost 10% .
What’s more there is a variation between how much weight people lose post op, and some of it have to do with factors outside of the surgery. In a published JAMA surgery article, those who had undergone the procedures that lost more weight were either younger, female, white, or they had started out with a higher body mass. Other variables include post op diet changes and exercise routines.
I can point to a multitude of variables based on group studies all day, but the truth of the matter is that no two people are the same. That means, by extension that no two people or cases are the same. Some people are bound to lose more weight after surgery, some people are more likely to lose less, and unfortunately some people are going to gain it all back.
The weight gain could be a byproduct of a bad procedure, or it could just as easily been a byproduct of a toxic environment from non-supportive people in the life of the patient, or unrelated medical or mental issues.
The point that I am trying to make is that by writing off any sort of procedure as a ‘one size fits all’ or ‘one size fits no one’ you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
That’s why it is strongly suggested in the first place to speak with medical professionals about your situation. The more you talk about it and are open to the possibility of change, the more likely you are going to have a better transition after the surgery.
So in short, sometimes, no, the surgeries aren’t effective, but sometimes they are. You won’t know until you try.