WLS: What a Load of Shit

I’ve been thinking about Fat Additives’ post about her experience with weight loss surgery (which I included in last week’s Friday Links).

I’ve read so many other horror stories about WLS. It’s scary that the weight-loss industry promotes it as a solution for so many fat people.

Sure, some people have good experiences. But the percentage of people who have serious problems is significant. And when a supposed cure makes things worse for a significant number of people? That’s a problem.

It’s a problem that even when it goes “right,” it can cause a lifetime of malnutrition and digestive problems.

It’s a problem that, in this day and age, we’re trying to cure health issues by mutilating healthy tissue rather than dealing with the issues directly.

Disclaimer: I’m not telling anyone what to do. People can make whatever choices they want about their own bodies, and if someone wants to get WLS, I won’t tell them not to (although I would encourage them to research it thoroughly).

BUT I have a problem with the widespread use of WLS. I wish it were reserved for the very rare cases in which it’s the lesser of two evils–and even then, I wish medical researchers were hard at work searching for alternatives.

Imagine if all the time, energy, and resources that go into WLS went into improving health regardless of weight. Into treating diabetes, heart disease, or mobility issues directly, rather than using weight as a terribly inaccurate proxy.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…