News Thursday January 20, 2011

Weight loss surgery ‘should stay a last resort’

Weight loss surgery should stay a last resort to ‘save’ people who are extremely obese, experts have argued.

Bariatric surgery is being marketed towards people who do not really need it, they say.

Their claims are backed up by reports from bariatric surgery providers. Jenny Fowler, who is the director for cosmetic surgery Let’s Face It Together, says that it is “shocking” how many size 8 and 10 women come to her seeking obesity surgery. “We are turning people away on a daily basis because we would never condone gastric surgery on somebody with a healthy BMI.”

Celebrity endorsement

Abby O’Reilly of The Guardian has written this week that, since November, a series of adverts have been broadcast on Channel 5 which seem to glorify weight loss surgery. The adverts apparently present the surgery as a quick way to lose weight.

Although O’Reilly does not deny that bariatric surgery has a useful place, she argues: “Despite celebrity endorsement and glittery advertising, bariatric surgery should be regarded as a taboo subject in all but the most hopeless circumstances.”

Weight loss surgery is given to patients on the NHS when they have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40.

700 million obese by 2015

The World Health Organisation predicts that, by 2015, more than 700 million adults across the world will be obese.

Doctors maintain that the most healthy and natural way to lose weight is through the consumption of a healthy diet, and a regular exercise routine. However, slimming pills can help some dieters to diet more effectively.

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