Chris Christie: Obesity Treatment Success?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not been celebrating a lot of success in his professional life just recently. But one year after his gastric banding surgery, experts in the field are describing his results as successful.

“With everything the man is dealing with, it is a wonder he has done so well,” said Thomas Inge in a recent interview with NBC News. Echoing that view, Ninh Nguyen, the president of the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, estimates that Christie has shed between 90 and 100 pounds, or 40 to 45 percent of his excess weight. Said Nguyen, “from the images I saw, I would say, yes, I would regard it as successful.”

All this success does not keep ignorant people from dismissing the significance of what Christie has accomplished. Those with bias against people with obesity seem intolerant of people who don’t conform to their concept of a one-size-fits-all normal weight. Nguyen explained about the goals for someone with severe obesity:

It’s a category that’s quite challenging. We’re trying to get somebody into a healthy lifestyle and reduce their obesity-related conditions. We’re not trying to make somebody skinny here.

Christie provides a very public illustration of the real goals for treating obesity. Weight loss is just a part of the picture — perhaps a small part. The real point is the pursuit of better health with a weight and a lifestyle that will be sustainable for the long-term. This happens one day at a time, over time. The goals are highly personal and highly individual. People running wellness programs are learning the hard way that singular, simplistic BMI goals just don’t work.

Someone who takes on this challenge deserves our respect, setting politics aside.

Click here to read more from NBC News and here to read a statement from the Obesity Society

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, photographs from the office of the Governor

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