When overweight isn’t heavy enough

A lot of people who pin their hopes on weight loss surgery to drop pounds go to the doctor only to find out they’re not heavy enough for the procedure.

Current guidelines only allow people with a BMI of 40 and above (or 35 and above if a person has a serious health problem like diabetes) to get the surgery.  So if you’re 5 foot 2 and weigh 200 pounds, your BMI is 36.6…below the 40 required.  If you weighed another 20 pounds, you’d be over the 40 BMI mark.

How Lap-Band surgery works

However, this could soon all change.

Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that makes the popular Lap-Band is today petitioning the FDA to lower how obese someone must be to qualify for surgery.  If the FDA goes along with it, it’s estimated the number of people eligible could double.  Naturally, this would be a great move for Allergan.  Their profits would grow as American waistlines shrink.

But is this the right thing to do?

Sure Lap-Band surgery keeps you from over eating, but you still have to eat right.  And I tend to think people who want to surgery just see it as a quick way to achieve the results they want without the work.  Weight loss isn’t easy and yet we buy into the hype that there’s a quick fix.

If the guidelines are altered, I hope that people are not only offered the surgery, but the therapy and help that’s needed to make it successful and lasting.


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