Jenn Posted August 11, 2008 Report Share Posted August 11, 2008 was an obese teenager. And in spite of a lifetime of diets - losing and gaining all the while - I am an obese adult. I don't think that story is unique, in fact I think its a plague. I had gastric bypass surgery last October and my only regret is that I didn't have it sooner. At age 12 I was 5 feet tall and weighed well over 200 pounds. I was attending Weight Watchers at that age - the only young person in the class - but nothing helped for any length of time. Subsequently I have spent a lifetime of struggle, emotionally and physically. My self-esteem, my enjoyment of life, my health and well-being have all been damaged along the way. Now on the verge of turning 50 years old - I was finally able to make a permanent change with surgery. I wish it had been an option when I was young. I think it's even more difficult to lose weight if you have been overweight from a young age. It's possible that I never learned good habits, but I don't think it was for lack of me trying or my mom trying. My 3 siblings have no weight problems, never have. Isn't it also possible that the mechanism that tells a person they are full doesn't work (never worked? stopped working?) in some people due to a physical, emotional, or unknown disconnect? Whatever the reason - I've never been able to maintain a weight loss for more than a year. And I've done ALL the diets from WW to Optifast to "boot camp" and everything in between. Again, not a unique story just a frustrating one. Dr. Oz's distaste for young people having this surgery seems a bit short-sighted to me. He cites the fact that no one knows what the consequences may be 20 years down the road... ability to have children, for example. But we do know what 20 or more additional years of obesity will do to a person. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, back/knee/joint problems, fertility problems, dangerous pregnancies, sleep apnea, etc. plus all the resulting consequences AND costs of all that. Additionally there is the host of ongoing and compounded emotional issues. Isn't Dr. Oz's concern that there are unknowns down the road true for all "new" life-saving or life-changing procedures until they become accepted and considered the norm? Case in point might be that young football player, Kevin Everett, you had on the show recently. As I recall the cold therapy the doctor administered was controversial and not the norm. But that treatment is now credited for the miracle that this man can now walk. Are they worried about 20 years down the road? In addition, Dr. Oz doesn't seem to be taking into account that parents have been making serious (and often unwise) decisions about weight loss for their kids for many, many years. When I was young I saw kids around me whose parents sent them weight loss boot camps (some lost weight, most lost and then gained it all back plus), put them on diet pills (mostly over-the-counter and meant for adults), hounded them and berated them, while still others had their jaws wired shut!! Was that the way to go? Well, since we have the increased obesity problem we have - obviously not. Today, parents are making these surgery decisions for their children with the assistance of physicians. Like with any surgery there must be an individual analysis of costs, benefits and risk. I have no doubt that these all weigh heavily on the minds of the parents and the doctors. There will always be people who can lose weight on their own, or with the assistance of a diet, and keep it off. But it is abundantly clear that there are many millions more who cannot. Surgery is not everyone's answer, teen or adult, but dismissing it as an answer for anyone, teen or adult, is an equally flawed view. Reply Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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