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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
Ohm Society
Bariatrics (Weight Loss Medicine) Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy

Bariatrics is the medical practice of weight reduction. Conditions in affluent western nations have led to an unprecedented number of overweight people. Depending on the criteria one accepts, one-third to one-half of American are obese. Most observers agree that this is due to the stress of modern life in combination with the eating patterns present in the culture. An over-dependence on the carbohydrate diet with its emphasis on breads, pastas, and other high glycemic index (i.e. changes to sugar quickly) foods such as potatoes and rice has led to new levels of fat storage.

Attempting to loose weight using the available information in the culture is a case of the blind leading the blind. Expert advice and support are usually necessary to help one break free from common cultural assumptions to adopt the life style changes necessary to achieve weight loss which endures. Bariatric medical weight loss programs are for those people with serious weight problems which do not respond to diet and exercise alone. Bariatric surgery also is performed for those unable to loose weight by more conventional means. This includes stomach resection, lipectomy (surgical removal of fat) and liposuction.

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(205 words)