Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ignorance in America

An article was brought to my attention this morning by a blog friend. She was disturbed by the author's attitude about weight loss surgery, and after reading the article - I found it to be just as disturbing. I get tired of the ignorance out there in America about obesity. It is not just a bunch of fat people that need to stop eating and learn to exercise... it is a very individualized problem. Sure, for some people it is about simply stopping overeating, but for others (myself included) it is about so much more... it is about saving your life from dibilitating diseases and actually being able to lose enough weight to make a significant difference in your lifespan. I'm sure that some out there won't agree with me on this issue and that is okay, but I made my opinion known to this particular writer - as I have with a few others in the past. (Such as the time I actually helped get a radio personality fired over his discusting rant after the bonfire collapse in 1999.)


I take great offense to you saying that weight-loss surgery is easy. For those of us out there that have made the choice to have surgery – it is not without a lot of thought and consideration of many issues. I don’t think that the lifestyle needed to recover from these surgeries could be considered easy by any means – how many people out there can have the determination to live without most foods they are used to eating for weeks or months? It takes a lot to live through that and to relearn how to eat appropriately when you are able to reintroduce foods into your diet again.

In my opinion – when there are millions of articles out there on this topic – it is highly irresponsible of you to write something like that. Did you even consider the statistics that show how many lives are saved by having these surgeries? Not to mention the risks and statistics for those that don’t have surgery… many studies show that for morbidly obese patients it is next to impossible for people to successfully lose weight on their own and keep it off.

I am one of those very people you mention in the top of your article that has several medical factors that are brought on by weight issues, and quite frankly – those medical problems and their treatments make it an endless cycle that only weight loss can fix… but the treatments are all known for causing weight gain… so where would it have ended for me? Certainly it would have ended with more pain and eventually death if I hadn’t taken steps to have a gastric-bypass that will save my life.

As is typical with the media – you only showed one view point in your article that I consider once again to be irresponsible when there might be people out there looking for the answer to their own situation. I don’t think it is fair for you to write about the negatives of programs without showing the positives as well – how about throwing in some statistics on how lives are saved by various weight loss options? Like how over 90% of people that have weight loss surgery are essentially cured from having diabetes… similar statistics are out there for asthma, sleep apnea, and several other diseases that are exacerbated by excess weight. Why would you chose to write such a dismissive paragraph on eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia… there are millions of articles out there that tell much more about the effects of those diseases without being as callous as you were.

Next time, it might be better to use more words, and actually research the topic that you are writing about to show the whole story… not just your personal viewpoint.


  1. YOU GO GIRL ! That was very well put. I completely agree with you 100%, but could have never put it so eloquently ! Have a wonderful day.

  2. Excellent! You put it much better than I did, but I'm sure she should get the point at least! There is just no excuse for ignorance!

  3. What a wonderful articulate response! I'm sure it was unexpected and hopefully eye opening.

    Congrats on not stooping to name calling or nasty taunts. I'm always tempted, but you've shown great restraint.

    Happy Holidays to you!!!

  4. I am impressed! I would love to hear more about the bonfire story firing.

  5. Kim,

    After reading your wonderful reply I actually went out and read the article in question.

    I must say that after doing so (and looking at her other articles about weight loss options and healthy living) that I think the article is actually somewhat fair.

    She has posted multiple articles over the course of the last month on topics from boot camps to herbal remedies to an honest portrait of WLS. She is consistent in her stance that WLS is more than the surgery and that it's a lifelong commitment.

    This one article, taken on its own could look like a big "I hate WLS" but in fact the risks that she identifies are real. Considering the other articles about the benefits of WLS, I believe her to be a supporter of people struggling with obesity. I think it's great that she's willing to educate folks about the whole story.

    It's too bad that the other articles in her series weren't listed so that it would be obvious that she's trying to tell the complete story.

    I think that's a limitation of the LA Chronicle online and not the reporter.

    I'm 100% in favor of discussing WLS from all sides, not just the WOWs of the rapid loss (which are pretty awesome) but the risks we had to consider before surgery, and the commitment we had to make to ourselves for this lifelong change.

    I do NOT believe that WLS is for all people (and not suggesting you do either) and I am supportive of anyone who will present both the risks and the benefits.

    I think your response was wonderful, but do encourage you to review her other articles.

    Sorry for the long rambling (and second) reply.

    Once again, Happy Holidays to you!


Thank you so much for your comments. I really enjoy getting feedback on my writing!