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Surgery to Prevent Diabetes in the Obese???

If you read my blog regularly, you may remember a post last week about the "mixed blessings" behind gastric bypass surgery. Instead of the 1 in 200 mortality rate bariatric surgeons often brag about, one study pointed out 2 percent of all gastric bypass patients DIE within 30 days after surgery.

Why people throw $30,000 away on a temporary solution -- stomach stapling -- to a permanent problem -- optimal health -- is unbelievable to me. That is, until I read a report like the one I saw in this week's JAMA that claims many patients who choose gastric bypass surgery enjoy health benefits far beyond the cosmetic in lowering their cholesterol (70 percent) and blood pressure (62 percent) and eliminating diabetes (77 percent) and sleep apnea (86 percent).

Since you already know how low the drug companies will go to fill their coffers with cash, it should come as no surprise that a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that develops and markets surgical instruments, including staplers for obesity surgery, funded the report. (J&J also makes Splenda too!)

In my experience, extensive aerobic exercise and the elimination of grains and sugars has eliminated diabetes and brought optimal health to nearly all of the patients I have treated who have followed my recommendations. And, it is much less expensive and the side effects, unlike surgery, are a longer and healthier life.

Besides, does it really make sense to perform surgery on the two-thirds of the overweight people in this country? I guess it does if you own stock in Johnson & Johnson...

JAMA October 13, 2004 Vol 292(14)

USA Today October 13, 2004

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