Liposuction Cuts Fat But Obesity Health Risks Remain

Liposuction may let doctors extract body fat, but it doesn't trim the risk of heart disease or diabetes the same way losing weight would. Although volunteers in a study lost 12 percent of their body weight--most of it fat tissue--their blood pressure, insulin levels, cholesterol levels and other risk factors for heart and blood sugar problems remained unchanged. In other words, even though they "lost" weight, they are still facing the problems associated with obesity. Simply cutting out the fat will not produce the benefits produced by diet and exercise. Nonetheless, liposuction is performed on nearly 400,000 people in the United States each year, making it the most common cosmetic operation in the country. If you are thinking about this procedure I'd highly enourage you to think about what's really important--restoring your health while you lose weight--then decide if a cosmetic procedure is really the best option. As I've said before, there are healthy and real ways to reach an optimal weight, but none of them involve a "quick fix."

New York Times June 17, 2004

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