bariatric surgery

One scary statement

I thought I was done blogging about my experiences at the Binge Eating Disorder Association's national conference, but a line uttered during the panel I participated in keeps clanging around in my head:

"When I hit 700 pounds, my health started to go down hill."

It was said by Marybeth Quist, who shared her experience as a bariatric surgery survivor on the panel. Even in a sharply sad story where even the ups had downs, that statement of hers has just kept coming back.


"Your Weight Matters," the "Bariatric Bad Girls" and more

Final notes from the inaugural “Your Weight Matters”ment that seeks to address issues around obesity is that our issue is not about — and shouldn’t be regarded as — fashion, but about health. Some obese people escape the many adverse health effects related to the condition, and people who are not obese do experience those conditions.


Better off focusing on things I can change

More notes from the inaugural “Your Weight Matters” conference in Dallas...

They played the Jennifer Livingston video (she’s the Wisconsin anchorwoman who was flamed in e-mail for being overweight) at the opening session, declaring her as a hero for standing up to the cretin who wrote to her.

OAC isn’t the only weight-advocacy group to praise Livingston, and I continue to struggle with that stance.


At "Your Weight Matters," bariatric two-timers

More notes from the inaugural “Your Weight Matters” conference last weekend in Dallas...

The "Center for Consumer Freedom," the Big Food-funded mouthpiece whose falsehoods begin with its name, cites the “latest study” when it serves its purposes, and mocks it the rest of the time. Sometimes this happens in back-to-back posts. They deserve the scorn of every thinking person on earth. But anyway.


Weight-loss one-upsmanship

More notes from the inaugural “Your Weight Matters” conference last weekend in Dallas...

Even though my chief topic is fast becoming sustainable personal change, and has never been strictly about weight loss, one of my “selling points” is that I’ve lost 155 pounds. The number tends to grab people’s attention, and then my challenge is to capitalize on that attention for the forces of good.


A 365-pound loser, and other tales from Dallas

Wringing out from Sandy’s glancing blow to our home, I have a few anecdotes to share from my attendance over the weekend at the Obesity Action Coalition’s first “Your Weight Matters” conference.

I went hoping first to sell books, the first time I’d tried the trade-show route, and my experience did not rise to even my most tamped expectations. Oof.


Weight-loss surgery rarely a complete solution

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I've said some of this before, but a BBC health report (Obesity surgery "seen as quick fix") says it too, affording an opportunity to extend my remarks: Bariatric surgery might be the right choice for some obese people, but I have a very hard time regarding it as a complete solution for the people who qualify to receive it.

I didn't get to be 365 pounds with "only" an eating problem, and the size of my stomach was not a primary cause. So how could surgery that only would have made my stomach smaller resolve all?


"Busting stereotypes, uncovering biology"

Welcome to another installment of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask interesting people for brief answers to brief questions. Today’s participant is a clinical psychologist and author who holds the nation’s first endowed professorship in eating disorders, at the University of North Carolina. Remember, please: No counting! “10 words” is about attitude, not addition, and besides, let’s see you do it. 

UNC researcher Cynthia Bulik

Name Cynthia Bulik
Born when, where 1960, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Residence Chapel Hill, NC
Family situation Married, three kids
A transformative event from your childhood “The death of my brother, Mark. I was 9. He was a premature baby who lived one day.”
When did you know you wanted to research ED? “My sophomore year in college. I was invited to do rounds with George Hsu, the attending physician for an eating disorders program in Pittsburgh.”
A surprising fact about you “I’m a [national-level] gold medalist ice dancer.”


Foster care before bariatric surgery? Another view

The JAMA op-ed by Drs. David Ludwig and Lindsey Murtagh in which they raised the issue of moving extremely obese children temporarily into foster care, as an alternative to bariatric surgery, has drawn comment far and wide, including by me.


In gastric banding follow-up, mixed results at best

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I've said before that I don't oppose weight-loss surgery, and understand that it is sometimes the best hope for some obese patients' survival. But my solution wasn't surgical, and my experience tells me that surgery isn't the only remedy available.

Because of its prevalence — in part because it is supported by insurance while the methods that helped me no longer are — I'm often interested in studies on these surgeries.


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