The Biggest Loser Highlights the Obesity Epidemic

Bariatric Surgery: One solution to Houston’s Obesity Epidemic

The most recent season of NBC’s hit series “The Biggest Loser” launched last night.  The network is playing off of the time of year that all of us realize that obesity is a problem in the United States.  Each new year many of us make the resolution to lose weight or get in shape.  “The Biggest Loser” has done a fantastic job of educating Americans that obesity in the United States has quietly grown into an epidemic.  This season NBC is taking it one step further by inviting children to join the cast.

Each week several million Americans gather around their television and witness the obesity epidemic first hand.  We learn about the struggle each of these people face daily in their personal lives with losing weight and keeping it off.

Obesity is an epidemic that most of us want to ignore, look past or just accept.  The reality of obesity is that it truly is a disease.  There are medical and social reasons that create obesity.

Obesity is similar to a narcotic drug addiction.   Typically a drug addiction starts with social pressures and eventually evolves into a chemical dependency…obesity is similar.  We are driven to eat.  It provides us comfort, happiness or enjoyment in the beginning.  As our body changes we becoming addicted to food.   Obesity is similar to a drug addiction in a sense that once we have “trained” our bodies to adjust to a higher level of caloric intake that has caused the weight problem our bodies become addicted to the calories.

One of the key elements to weight loss surgery is adjusting the amount of calories we can consume.  Each of the three of the weight loss surgeries performed at Balette Bariatric Center in Houston, Texas address the size of stomach.  These are Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass, and Gastric Banding.

By adjusting the size of the stomach we limit the actual amount of food a patient can consume on a regular basis.  This process is critical to weight loss.  One of the more important benefits of bariatric surgery is shrinking the upper portion of your stomach.  This is critical because the upper portion of the stomach generates the hormone Ghrelin.

Ghrelin is the hormone our body generates that tells our brain we are hungry.  As the top portion of the stomach becomes empty Ghrelin is released.  As your stomach grows your body has the ability to generate more Ghrelin.

This leads to the double edged sword of obesity.  Not only have we adjusted our bodies to consume a higher level of calories, we have also altered our bodies to constantly crave food.

Understanding this is a critical part to preparing for bariatric surgery.  Bariatric Surgery is NOT the easy way out.

Bariatric Surgery gives patients a way to jump start their weight loss journey.  The initial step is life changing.  The decision of bariatric surgery is not the easy way out.  Many people believe that “weight loss” surgery is the easy way out.   This ideology could not be further from the truth.

Bariatric surgery is the first step in changing your life…or saving your life.  Obesity is not a disease that can be addressed with a pill or an intervention.  Obesity can only be conquered by addressing your life style.  Bariatric surgery is an option to jump start your weight loss journey but, by no means is it any easy way out.

Learn more about Houston Bariatric Surgery options.