Weight Loss Surgery: The False Stigma of an Easy Way Out

An unfounded stigma surrounds weight loss surgery. This prejudice has its primary roots in forgivable ignorance about the reality of a body’s resistance to weight loss. A widespread view is that obesity is a chosen way of life, not an actual disease.

The Pattern of a Disease

The World Obesity Federation recently published a statement explaining why obesity is a chronic disease. WOF notes that obesity fits the model of a disease. One distinction it notes is that the pathological agent is food rather than a microbe. In short, obesity is not character flaw. It fits the pattern of a chronic disease.

Lacking scientific knowledge, many people retain a biased view. They think that by turning to bariatric surgery, people are taking an easy way out. Even many patients who undergo bariatric surgery possess the same bias. The struggle lies in overcoming an inner prejudice. And then comes the challenge of helping others discover if bariatric surgery can improve their life.

A Few Basic Facts of Bariatric Surgery

Most of the population simply does not know the basic facts of bariatric surgery. Simply put, this surgery can improve life for many people in more ways than less intensive programs can. It’s a major contributor in the reduction of obesity-related complications. Multiple studies suggest that bariatric surgery can put type 2 diabetes into remission. It also lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes onset, hypertension, and sleep apnea.

Removing the bias surrounding bariatric surgery can help more people gain better health. To accomplish this, though, we need a fundamental change. Both the general population and health care professionals will need to open their minds about obesity. We need commitment to learning more about obesity.

Today’s guest post comes from Carol Adkisson,  an author, speaker, teacher, and  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is also founder and CEO of a group nonprofit – The Trauma and Healing Foundation in Fontana, CA. She has authored a number of books including Recovering My Life, a Personal Bariatric Story. For more from from Carol about bariatric surgery, click here.

Ready, photograph © Aleera / flickr

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February 13, 2018

2 Responses to “Weight Loss Surgery: The False Stigma of an Easy Way Out”

  1. February 13, 2018 at 9:16 am, Allen Browne said:

    Thank you Ms. Adkisson. One could substitute “weight loss medications” or “weight loss devices” for “weight loss surgeries” for many patients. The bias and lack of knowledge about the disease remains a major obstacle.

  2. February 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm, John DiTraglia said:

    The bias against surgery for obesity arises from the wrong thinking that surgery works by making you eat less or absorb less of what you eat. That follows on the also wrong supposition that fat people eat too much or more than skinny people, The easy answer to that false presumption is to say that if that’s how gastric bypass worked either it wouldn’t work or it would kill you – both abundantly incorrect.