A caveat to the recent posts about weight is the professional dilemma about Bariatric surgery. These weight loss centers, as they are called, have become a profit bonanza for hospitals. People bereft after years of unsuccessful dieting finally capitulate to the pressure for surgery from friends and doctors. It feels like a last resort, the final decision, and one couched in the misguided concept of improved health. The surgical centers are PR meccas able to reel in even the most ambivalent of patients. Once hooked, these people become true believers.
They say they are done dieting and know they "haven't been able to use the tools of dieting successfully." The language of personal blame, well honed by diet gurus, allows doctors to recommend surgery and also not take personal responsibility when the surgery fails.
We will all look back one day in shock and horror that the medical world sanctioned slicing off half or more of a person's stomach for weight loss. These surgeries may very well be the lobotomy of our time. When all data shows dieting to be not only ineffective but also harmful with clear proof it leads to long term weight gain, how can we stand by as the diet industry leads these people to a place of hopelessness and the medical establishment leads them into the operating room? The hypocrisy and craven desire for profit are astounding.
The central issue is to wrest back the conversation from the extremely powerful diet, food and exercise industries which have completely monopolized the conversation. Sadly, the medical establishment has been led to the same conclusion and now acts as unwitting promoters for diets and surgery.
The answers to this problem lie with medical education. Unless medical professionals understand the basic facts about food and weight, there will be no counterpoint to the marketplace powers which have capitalized on the fear of fat for enormous gain.