Weight Loss Methods
Letters: Surgery Last Resort
The Ottawa Citizen - May 31st, 2006
Yoni Freedhoff, MD
Re: Fight obesity through surgery, experts say, May 22.
Adequate funding for bariatric surgery is long overdue in Canada. However, I have literally hundreds of patients who would be offended by Dr. Arya Sharma's statement that, it is "complete nonsense to believe that the obese can control their weight with diet and exercise alone."
So would the 5,000 patients enrolled in the U.S.-based National Weight Control Registry, a group in which the average member has sustained a weight loss of 67 pounds for more than five years.
While obesity is definitely a chronic condition for many, at the end of the day sustainable weight loss is absolutely attainable through lifestyle changes.
Quite simply, to achieve a sustainable weight loss through lifestyle change, people must be able to honestly say that they could live that way for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, the biggest problem facing patients today is that the vast majority of weight-loss efforts involve programs or diets so difficult to follow that their results are impossible to sustain.
What would be wonderful to have, along with funding for bariatric surgeries, is some form of guidance for patients seeking help with weight loss. At the very least, this guidance should steer patients into programs with not only the greatest likelihood of success, but also rigorous ethical and scientific standards.
Surgery should only be a last resort.
Yoni Freedhoff, MD, Ottawa
Medical Director, Bariatric Medical Institute