We often hear in today’s society that bariatric surgery (or weight loss surgery) is “the easy way out”. Sometimes, people say that losing weight with the help of a bariatric procedure is “cheating”, and that people should just exercise and eat healthy to lose weight, the “natural” way.
This is just not true.
According to “Bariatric Surgery: Not the ‘Easy’ Way Out—the ‘Healthy’ Way Out”, an article written by Registered Nurses Mary Ann Rose, Mary Lisa Pories, Donna Roberson and Janice A. Neil in the Bariatric Times, there is evidence towards this stigma existing in modern society, but that’s just what it is – a stigma.
“Society still holds the attitude that surgery is the easy way out, but research suggests that patients with obesity opt for surgery most frequently as the ‘last resort’ in the face of relentlessly deteriorating health,” state the authors about their study’s findings.
Bariatric surgery is just another option for people living with obesity to lose that extra weight for good. It is a surgical alternative, but by no means does this mean that you are ‘cheating’. Much the same work needs to be put into life after surgery as it would for people who change their lifestyle without surgical intervention.
As the quote above suggests, people often have a bariatric procedure because they face debilitating health concerns, such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and so on, not only because they want to lose weight. Having surgery has been shown to alleviate these conditions, and sometimes even get rid of them entirely.
Sometimes, people are just not able to lose weight using the standard ‘eat healthy and exercise’ method. People diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), for example, have been found to not respond to this method, according to the World Journal of Diabetes. Therefore, they need another option – and that option is usually bariatric surgery.
“Perhaps we should refocus, viewing it not as ‘weight loss surgery’, per se. For patients, it is the ‘healthy choice’ rather than the ‘easy way out’,” Rose, Pories, Roberson and Neil suggest in the article. “In our previous study, 12 patients overwhelmingly felt that their decision to undergo the surgery was a ‘last resort’. Thus, the surgery represented for them a dramatic approach to regaining their own health rather than a choice simply to help them lose weight.”