For Immediate Release, September 20, 1999 

Stomach Stapling Isn't Foolproof

A funny thing happened to Jane (not her real name) a few months after she had her stomach stapled to lose weight. Following several months of continuous weight loss, Jane suddenly stopped losing weight. Not just for a week or two. For the next several months Jane's family and friends couldn't figure out why Jane wasn't achieving the dramatic losses they had seen others make who had the same surgical procedure. According to her doctor, the surgical procedure performed on Jane's stomach was still perfectly intact.

Gastroplasty and gastric bypass are the most common surgical procedures used in cases like Jane's, according to the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Their report titled, "Rationale for the Surgical Treatment of Severe Obesity," mentions a smooth post-operative course in the "motivated, cooperative patient who has been educated in the nutritional requirements to maintain adequate protein/calorie/mineral/vitamin intake."

However, weight management expert Ron Brown, author of The Body Fat Guide points out, "If all patients were motivated, cooperative and educated in maintaining adequate nutrient and calorie intake, they wouldn't need to resort to stomach stapling in the first place!"

Brown says, "The real rationale for these surgical procedures is that it makes it difficult for patients to swallow normal quantities of solid food, thus involuntarily cutting down calorie intake. But, if an uncooperative person is hungry enough, they will find other ways to take in calories besides from solid food."

And therein lies the answer to the mystery of Jane's weight-loss plateau. A tour around Jane's kitchen revealed exceptionally large supplies of ice cream, milk shakes, concentrated fruit juices and pop.

"All of these items are high in calories and much more easily ingested than chewing and swallowing solid food," says Brown. "Consuming large quantities of these items would bring most people's weight-loss efforts to a halt, even a person with stomach stapling!"

Brown says there are serious risks associated with the surgical treatment of obesity, including the risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. He notes, "However, in their report, the surgeons justify their procedures on the basis that it is less harmful than the condition being treated. But, that doesn't mean their procedures are a substitute for proper weight management skills and healthy lifestyle habits." Body Fat Guy Diet Myths Fat Guide Love Handles Body Fat Review
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