Is stomach stapling for teens worth the risk?

What's happening in our readers' forum.
Aug. 25 2006 10:54 PM

Fat Chance

Is stomach stapling for teens worth the risk?

Amanda Schaffer's analysis weighing the risks and benefits of stomach stapling for teenagers drew a strong reaction from readers.

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ponderthis declares herself fed up with the media's obsession over fat and fat people:

Everyday we, as consumers, are bombarded with articles, television broadcasts and radio spots, talking about how fat we are and what we need to do - better yet, buy - to avoid the myriad dangers that are associated with being overweight. We constantly hear "buy this food because it helps to reduce cholesterol" or "get this procedure because it will improve your health." This one is my favorite - exercise more!

kaydia attacks the underlying assumption of the debate:

The writer seems to imply that being heavy is a curse that must be overcome no matter what the cost. One does not have to be thin to be healty. You have to love and accept yourself for who you are despite what oher people may think of you.

Luchese responds:

Actually shame is probably at the heart of most over eating. The problem is weight does have impact on chronic disease, early disability and premature death. But I agree that surgery is a cruel and somewhat inhuman approach with teenagers. Non of the resources invested in this procedure are matched by preventive health care. That is the true tragedy.                       

In another instance of pathologizing fat people, livestephen thinks the procedure will be ineffective unless more fundamental psychological "dysfunction" is addressed:

These teens are suffering and making their symptoms disappear with stomach stapling just leaves them mutalated but still carrying the weight of the dysfunction that causes countless people to seek comfort and sedation in food.

In this testimonial, nicolet describes the life-changing consequence of her own gastric bypass surgery: