Everyone knows that weight loss should ideally be achieved by maintaining a healthy lifestyle of frequent exercise and quality nutrition; however, there are some situations – such as with the morbidly obese – where losing weight the ‘natural’ way becomes less and less feasible.
When conventional methods of weight loss have failed, many people will begin to look at weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass, as a serious option.
The health problems associated with obesity are great in number and have become increasingly widely known, but how does this compare with the potentially harmful effects of weight loss surgery?
The Case against Weight Loss Surgery
A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association examined markers of health, including weight, in extremely obese individuals with a BMI or body mass index of more than 45.
The subjects had undergone a common form of gastric bypass surgery known as the Roux-en-Y procedure, and they were then monitored for around six years post-surgery.
Some of the benefits enjoyed by the subjects were those which we already associate with weight loss, such as reduction of hypertension and remission of type II diabetes, but the results were not entirely positive.
During the six-year period following the gastric bypass surgery, the following observations were made:
- There were six deaths attributed to suicide or poisoning in those who had undergone the surgery;
- Subjects who underwent the surgery experienced a greater incidence of health complications, including hospitalization; and
- There was very little difference in the death rate between subjects who underwent surgery and the control group
This clearly shows that there are considerable risks involved with weight loss surgery and we mustn’t neglect the psychological factors associated with obesity.
A Realistic Look at Weight Loss Surgery
Procedures such as gastric bypass should never be looked at as a quick-fix solution to your problems, it is rare that medical intervention is the only answer and it should always be treated as a last resort.
Once you have undergone weight loss surgery, you will have to make significant changes to your dietary practices while participating in regular exercise; if you neglect your nutrition and physical activity after surgery, you could become seriously ill.
With this in mind, consider that these are changes which you would have to make to lose weight anyway, so if you have no choice but to clean up your diet and start exercising, why not see what benefits you can reap from an improved lifestyle before you consider surgery?
Obesity should be treated as a psychological ailment just as much as a physiological one; extreme cases are usually linked to food addictions and other eating disorders, so surgery is not going to fix this and could in fact put your health in serious danger if you are unable to change your habitual behaviour after having surgery.
Before undergoing weight loss surgery, please consider addressing the emotional issues which have led you to this point and understand that an improved lifestyle will help you to make gradual changes that will have long-lasting benefits and help you life a happier, healthier, longer life.