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Posts tagged ‘bariatric surgery’

I Don’t Even Know What to Say

I just saw this article about a 2 year old getting bariatric surgery. They included images:

picture of an obese 2 year oldI don’t know about you, but my knee jerk reaction is “what’s wrong with the parents?” I have no doubt there is something there, but I can’t say that tells the whole story. We do know that obese parents are more likely to have obese children. I would lay that at the door of environment, rather than genetics. You don’t get obese without practicing certain habits. Anyone can get overweight without really trying, but obesity, defined as a bmi over thirty, takes overeating and underexercising with a certain amount of effort. You have to see a trend and continue to persist in that path, despite the consequences. The larger you get, the more calories it takes to maintain, so you have to increase your eating to continue to gain weight.

Having said this, we now know that genes are responsible for certain aspects of hunger and satiation. ghrelin and leptin are two hormones that control appetite. The production of, and sensitivity to are influenced by both environment and genes. It is a chicken and egg scenario though, does over eating reduce your sensitivity to leptin, the “full” hormone? Or were you already desensitized, and that’s why you got obese? We know that ghrelin makes you crave high calorie foods, but does eating those foods make you produce more? We are only starting to see the full picture on this. Here is a link if you’d like more.

Getting back to this poor little boy. As much as I would like to say this was child abuse, it may just be the state of our world for some time to come. I’ve seen in heavy families that not all members gain the same amount of weight. In one family, the older boy was very obese, and the younger perfectly normal. I’m certain both were faced with the same food choices, and the one could not stop, whereas the other could. Of course we want to educate parents about good food choices, and encourage making the right choices, but are they faced with a child who is constantly hungry? I’m not letting them off the hook, the child did not feed himself, but how hard was it to resist a child who is always crying for food? I know, you’ll say- if they were feeding him vegetables he couldn’t have gotten that big. What is my granddaughter eating? Yogurt, raisins, Cheerios, cheese, and what the rest of the family eats. If she binged on those things, could she eat enough to get obese? I would think it’s possible. If her mother was not smart about food choices, and there were chips and ice cream, hot dogs with buns and other high calorie, questionable choices, and she was faced with a child who just kept wanting more, I think it would be easy to go to far.

What do you think? Should we just give the parents a blanket indictment? What are the long-term consequences to this little boy and his health from this surgery? Is that better or worse than what he’d face with uncontrolled obesity?

Real life- Being skinny won’t solve all your problems.

I haven’t blogged for a while since I haven’t had any thing to fire me up. Sure, I never shut up about health and fitness, but to take the time to write an entire article, I must have something big to say. Plus, I am REALLY busy.

After reading this article, I have something big to say. Jen Larson had weight loss surgery and wrote a book about it. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, except that she is very articulate about how it didn’t solve all her problems. For me, it keys into my very strong thoughts and opinions on the lookism that pervades our society. I hear really nice people talk about how ugly someone is. Fat and ugly are treated as synonymous. I can’t stand the anti fat attitude that people have.

YES! I hear heads exploding all over the place. I can hear you screaming at your computer, “You? All you ever talk about is eating right and exercising? How can you say you aren’t anti fat?!?” I am anti bad health. I am anti hurting yourself. I am anti self-destructive behavior. As a health professional, I can tell you that using looks for losing weight is the weakest, least effective motivator. A friend of mine posted an article about “fuller figured” mannequins on Face book. My husband commented that if I saw it I would want them to lose weight. NO. I don’t think everyone should be a size 4. I want everyone to be as healthy as possible. I think you have to be happy with the body you have, even before you try to change it. If you read the article that Jen wrote, she thought if she fixed the “in your face” problem, everything would be fine.

“He said that like it was a fact about all fat people. All fat people hate themselves. All fat people know that what’s good in life is really only accessible to thin people. Thin is the most important variable in of life’s equations. Thin equals happy, thin equals beautiful, thin equals a life worth living.

The most embarrassing fact of my life – and oh, how many embarrassing facts there are in my life – is that it was true. I was angry at him for saying it, for buying into the clich√© of the fat person. For assuming that my life would transform immediately. Because he was saying all the things I had secretly thought. He was reinforcing all the secret fantasies I had about the way everything about me would be more amenable and lovable and acceptable to the whole rest of the world.”

Alcoholics know, just stopping drinking doesn’t solve the problem. Psychology is more complex¬† than that. Being obese doesn’t just happen. It is an eating disorder, just like anorexia and bulimia.

I hated my hairy legs, I learned to epilate. I hated my glasses, I got laser surgery. You know what? When I fixed those things, other than the satisfaction of not having those things annoying me, NOTHING changed. Gorgeous or ugly doesn’t change life. Gorgeous women suffer from depression, anxiety, and get in stinky relationships. Ugly women suffer from depression, anxiety, and get in stinky relationships. If you think losing weight will change anything other than your health, take some time to rethink things.

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