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.