The New York Times recently featured a major story on obesity with the headline, “Americans Blame Obesity on Willpower, Despite Evidence It’s Genetic.” The story was based on a national consumer survey conducted by the ASMBS & University of Chicago on perceptions Americans have about obesity and its treatment. Major national news outlets including People Magazine, CNBC, and Cosmo covered the ASMBS/NORC Obesity Poll.
They wanted to use the survey as an educational and public awareness platform to inspire a national dialogue on the diagnosis and treatment of obesity and generate national media coverage on the issues that interfere with the treatment of the disease. That, by the way, includes your own doctors who don’t believe in metabolic surgery and still advise you to diet and exercise your way out of being morbidly obese.
“The barriers to treatment go beyond insurance,” said Raul J. Rosenthal, my mentor and past president of ASMBS. He added that the survey aimed to uncover other barriers including fear and denial about the disease and misperceptions about the safety and effectiveness of weight-loss surgery.
The New York Times also featured reactions to the survey from several non-surgeon obesity experts throughout the country. Their comments, as you see, reflect what most morbidly obese patients already know and go through every day:
“It’s frustrating to see doctors and the general public stigmatize patients with obesity and blame these patients, ascribing attributes of laziness or lack of willpower. We would never treat patients with alcoholism or any chronic disease this way. It’s so revealing of a real lack of education and knowledge.”
“Trying 20 times and not succeeding — is that lack of willpower, or a problem that can’t be treated with willpower?”
“One problem, though, is that medical professionals can be as misinformed as the public. We are talking about people who are 100, 200 pounds overweight…”
“The failure by doctors to mention the only effective course of treatment (bariatric surgery). If that was the case for cardiovascular disease and bypass surgery, you would say doctors are negligent?”
Major findings from the ASMBS/NORC Obesity Poll include:
The misperceptions about the fundamental causes of morbid obesity and how to best treat it exist amongst both the patients and their doctors.
Don’t be one of the above statistics.
If you are suffering from obesity and tired of yo-yo dieting and drugs and fads, it’s of the utmost importance that you seek the most effective and progressive treatment options available to you.
At University Bariatrics we consider all the options during your consultation, and help create a customized weight loss plan to help you along your journey to a healthier life. Call us today attend a free bariatric surgery seminar and set up your personal private consultation.