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From the You’ve Got to Be Freaking Kidding Me File | Manolo for the Big Girl

From the You’ve Got to Be Freaking Kidding Me File

There’s an article over at today’s edition of the Star-Tribune.com for the Minneapolis-St.Paul area that just…words failed me when I read it. It’s about a new, experimental device for weight loss. This one is basically a ‘food pacemaker’ implanted to cut off the signals to the brain that tell you you’re hungry. Why do we need this? Well, the inventor, one Dr. Sayeed Ikramuddin, who specializes in weight loss surgery realizes, as the article says:

…some people, no matter how overweight, can’t fathom the idea of having their internal organs snipped, tied or rearranged.

You’re right, Dr. Ikramuddin. I can’t fathom snipping or rearranging my perfectly healthy internal organs for a potentially short-lived cosmetic effect that could leave me with permanent health problems (WARNING: There’s a graphic illustration of human insides at the top of that article. If you’re squeamish, as I am, you might prefer not to look too closely at it).

Far better to pay the same amount of money (approximately $35,000.o0) to get a reversible implant and get the weight-loss benefits without the potential unpleasant side-effects, right?

Since this is a new procedure, there’s no telling what – if any – side effects will appear in this experiment. It might wind up being significantly safer, it may not. The jury is out and I prefer to remain cautious. I also prefer not to have an expensive elective surgery that is designed to change my brain function. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer not to mess with my brain by artificial means unless it’s absolutely necessary. Brain tumor? Yes, I think I’d agree to surgery in that case. Carrying more weight than some people think I should? I think that others are then thinking too much about my weight and need to mind their own business.

And once again, this solution to the ‘obesity epidemic’ focuses on the assumption that if we would just stop eating so much junk food all day, every single one of us would be magically thin. People who never question the fact that some people are naturally 7’3″ and others are naturally 4’10” also never question the assumption that all people are naturally built to have the same BMI.

I don’t know about the rest of you (and believe me, I have no intention of asking because it isn’t my business), but I eat a reasonably balanced diet. I get a wide variety of foods in all the basic groups. I eat them in perfectly reasonable portions. I get moderate exercise pretty much every day. I’m still fat. I’m also still healthy. The worst illness I’ve had in the last ten years was a bout of pertusis (aka: whooping cough) from which I recovered handily once I got the proper medications. I don’t think I got pertusis from being fat. I don’t think any form of surgically-induced weight-loss, even in the form of an implant is going to positively affect my health enough to make it worth the expense, the hospital stay, or any of the myriad inconveniences it could potentially cause.

Of course, this is reversible…which means the effects are also probably equally reversible. In the meantime, those choosing the surgery will have the unsuperfantastic fashion accessory of the battery pack on a belt to work into their wardrobes.

Do we really need another ‘solution’ to the horror of fat people? No. We do not. What we need is better access to awesome clothes in plus sizes and more people to stop worrying so damn much about what other people happen to weigh.

17 Responses to “From the You’ve Got to Be Freaking Kidding Me File”

  1. dr nic July 6, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    One brief word of defense for bariatric surgery. Yes is comes with serious risks and should not be undertaken lightly. However, it does other things besides the cosmetic effect. I know from personal experience (my father) that this can take a severe type II diabetic (who follows the diet rigorously, exercises as much as he can, and do everything right) whose diabetes continues to worsen and bring them to a state where they no longer require insulin. This study (http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/jc.2007-2851v1) published in April of this year, suggests that some of the resolution in the diabetes can be attributed to the surgery itself, and not the weight lost during the surgery.

    The surgery is not for everyone, but for an overweight diabetic, whose disease is spiraling out of control despite their best efforts, it may provide them the help they need. And although I’m considered morbidly obese by my medical collegues, I don’t plan on having the surgery.

    Also, I tend to view the site (Junkfood Science) you linked to with a grain of salt. I do this not because I disagree with her opinion on bariatric surgery (which I’ll freely admit I do) but because in her description of the site she claims to be “for readers not afraid to question and think critically to get to the truth.” I take issue with that claim because none of her posts are open to commenting, making it difficult for someone of an opposing viewpoint to engage her in an open forum.

  2. Margo July 6, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    I, for one, am getting really sick of the idea that if only we can control a person’s hunger, she’ll lose weight. Many fat people, myself included, overeat for a myriad of emotional reasons, and rarely allow ourselves to feel hunger at all. Such a device would be completely ineffective for the emotional eater.

  3. Bridey July 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm #

    M, I’m getting really sick of the idea that fat people overeat. (Whatever that means, anyway.)

  4. Bridey July 6, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    (That was a typo for “Me, I’m getting really sick of,” for however that changes things. I’m not flaming Margo, but there’s a presumption there that really wears on me.)

  5. teteatete July 6, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    I think it’s a bit presumptive to think that there are NOT fat people that are fat simply because they overeat. It happens. It happened to me. I stopped overeating, I lost weight (I always ate a balanced diet…but there IS such a thing as too much of a good thing!). Do I advocate this for every fat person? Of course not. But to say one is tired of the “idea that fat people overeat” is to stick one’s head in the sane. Are there fat people that don’t overeat? Of course. Do people come in different sizes? Of course. It’s grating to hear extremes in general, methinks.

  6. Margo July 6, 2008 at 11:20 pm #

    I didn’t mean to imply that all fat people overeat. I know that’s not true. What I was harping on was the idea that everyone who does overeat, does so because they’re hungry, and if only they can find some way to turn off the hunger, no one will overeat. That’s a load of…umm, something unladylike.

  7. Rene July 7, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    Anyone is said to overeat if they aren’t thin, remember that was how the shrinks were defining fat people even if they were eating 500 calories a day and still fat!
    Everyone know why there are no comments and I for one am glad for not having to deal with the avalanche of fat hating trolls that used to bury the NAAFA boards. Besides, she is trying to get people to think for themselves and not look to see what everyone else is thinking and what’s popular to believe.
    You might want to check out the latest posts in her bariatric series, as she completely destroys the sales of them as cures for diabetes, too.

  8. De July 7, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    The thing that bothers me is the line quoted above…

    “some people, no matter how overweight, can’t fathom the idea of having their internal organs snipped, tied or rearranged.”

    the “no matter how overweight” doesn’t even NEED to be in there. Some people aren’t going to get elective surgery no matter what. My entire life I’ve been afraid of surgery and being put under – ‘I was not meant to be opened up, if I was I’d have a zipper installed’ is my official stance. This includes when I was the waifish and thin girl who existed before adulthood and depression beat 80 lbs onto me.

    I have friends who have always been thin (and probably always will be) and THEY don’t want surgery either. Being afraid of someone CUTTING YOU OPEN and FIDDLING WITH YOUR BITS = common sense to me. Its a perfectly rational fear that is highly justified (and I’m not saying that just because I share it).

    Just because someone doesn’t want your COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY AND ELECTIVE surgery, doctor, doesn’t mean there is something WRONG WITH THEM.

  9. Peaches July 7, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    My stomach was rearranged several years ago. Silly me. Now Im heavy, vitamin deficient, and finally in therapy.

  10. Carrie July 8, 2008 at 2:41 am #

    F-

    Hey girl! I love reading your site. I really do. I usually don’t post but I felt I had to say something!

    I just had the Gastric Bypass in May. And FOR ME– it was the best thing. I was 460 pounds and in bad, bad, health.

    I’ve lost over 70 pounds and am in better health everyday. Sure you have to take vitamins everyday of your life and sure you might gain weight back, sure I might have extra skin. ETC. ETC.

    But, in all honesty—it’s worth it to me to have all those things if I can have an extra 20 years. this surgery is not for everyone. BELIEVE ME.

    The first time I emotionally ate. I became VERY sick. I won’t do it again. I’m in therapy dealing with those issues that make me emotionally eat. In a way, the surgery cuts off that hand that feeds you.

    All in all, it was for me. To anyone that is thinking of having it done–talking to people ask all the questions you want. Most of us will answer them. You might find out it’s not for you.

    Also. I love being plus size. I feel sexier. Will i ever be a size 4? GOD I HOPE NOT! I would love to be a 16, hell, even an 18!

  11. Peaches July 8, 2008 at 8:20 am #

    Carrie-
    Kudos to you on your success! Your response to the post was much better rounded than mine. Gastric was good and bad for me. I have fibromyalgia and the surgery has punched that to new heights. But I agree: its great for some of us and certainly isnt a one sided issue.

    See you at 16/18!!!

  12. Mrs. Hendricks July 8, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    “Do we really need another ’solution’ to the horror of fat people? No. We do not. What we need is better access to awesome clothes in plus sizes and more people to stop worrying so damn much about what other people happen to weigh.”

    You are exactly right, Twistie. And Mrs. Hendricks thinks it might be a good idea to replace the “solutions” with universal health care and compassion.

  13. Carrie July 8, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    Thanks Peaches.

    And to the people that say we took the easy “weigh” out.
    :P

    They aren’t there holding my hand after eating 4 small pieces of beef and sick as a dog. They aren’t there When I hit a plateau and I boost myself by doing all the “normal people” things like going to the gym and swimming.

    I’m busting my ass and it’s still big. Just a more “healthier” big.

  14. Katherine July 9, 2008 at 3:46 pm #

    I do wish that the media and people in general would quit talking so much about how unhealthy it is to be fat. Firstly, a person of a large size is not necessarily automatically unhealthy, sick, or somehow inherently inferior.

    To add to that, I wish that they would start talking about the incredible health risks to being underweight, or how bad your health can spiral if you loose weight too quickly. Most suppliments, liquid diets, or even extreme measures in normal eating can hurt you as much as supposedly being thin can solve ALL your problems.

  15. Jennie July 9, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    Oh! How many of those ultra thin people are anorexic, bulimic, and smoke. Every casting call I’ve ever worked, the models and/actors were sending up blue clouds of cancer causing smoke (don’t even start! I smoked for 30 years. What a waste of my time, money, and health!) I’d much rather be portly than have the breathing problems caused by cigarettes.

  16. venus July 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    um, Dr Ikramuddin isn’t the inventor, he is the lead investigator in the study, but not the inventor as you stated. Weight loss procedures aren’t for everyone, but they are for some. Let’s not judge those who do or don’t have surgery.

  17. chikwendu August 1, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    This product do not deliver what you have said about it.