October 5th, 2010
08:48 AM ET

Could mom's gastric bypass surgery put babies at risk?

More American teens are getting gastric bypass surgery.  A small, but provocative study presented this week at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests there may be a link between gastric bypass surgery in teen girls and an increased risk of neural tube defects in their babies.

Dr. Diana Farmer, surgeon-in-chief at Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco, and her team started connecting the dots after a teen mother came to the hospital's fetal treatment center.  The fetus had spina bifida, a condition where a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly.  The mother had recently undergone gastric bypass surgery.  Intrigued, Farmer did some research and found six additional cases of babies born with neural tube defects in mothers who recently had gastric bypass surgery.

So what's going on?  Farmer believes it's related to the bypass surgery.  Previous studies have found that patients who had bypass have a hard time absorbing nutrients, including folic acid, which helps prevent neural tube defects.  Approximately 2,500 infants are born each year in the United States with a neural tube defect like spina bifida.

Farmer says mothers who take a folic acid supplement can lessen the chances their child will develop a neural tube defect, but that often teen girls forget to take medicine.

Farmer believes teen girls should not have bypass surgery.  But if they do, she believes they should under go intensive counseling about the risks of nutritional deficiencies and  importance of using effective birth control.

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. kate

    good study, since we know that folic acid plays a huge role in neural tube defects will simply taking folic acid supplements prevent NTD? Spread the word, last thing we need is more NTD. Or you could just lose weight the correct way and not have surgery in the first place, check out http://www.diet-myths.com

    October 5, 2010 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Troubled by Your Thinking

      While I agree that non-adults should not choose this surgery, don't judge everyone who has had it, myself included. I spent my teenage years on a low fat diet, a low carb diet and a low fat low carb diet... and lost a whopping 20lbs in 4 years. When I was old enough, had appropriately documented my failures at weight loss, gone through considerable counseling, nutritional training, and physical training, then I had the surgery. I'm still termed overweight by BMI standards for inexplicable reasons – but I'm not as heavy. I don't advocate underage optional surgery, but it's worth it if it adds life to your years, if not years to your life. Judge not, you stone throwers.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
    • Bonnie

      Bariatric surgery is only done when all other efforts to lose weight have failed. With all the falsehoods and mythology circulating in all media about how to lose weight and not be hungry, it is surprizing that anyone is able to lose weight by diet alone. Chronic obesity has many causes and is little understood in most medical disciplines. Perhaps a prescription-strength dose of folate (folic acid) is warranted for women who are pregnant and who want to have children after bariatric surgery. Once again, there is so much ignorance out there about the causes and treatment of obesity that I don't expect anything positive to come out of this finding for many years to come.

      October 5, 2010 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      I'm curious as to what method you consider to be the "Correct" way to lose weight? Morbid Obesity, the criteria for Gastric Bypass surgery, is preformed when none of the other methods have worked. You might be interested to know that your "Correct" way to lose weight fails 99.7% of the time in terms of keeping the excess weight off.

      Morbid Obesity has both genetic and environmental causes, and simple diet and exercise will not deal with it. Individuals gain the weight back plus more after 6 months or so.

      One thing this article did not address is why is a teenager having a kid anyway?????? Motherhood is absolutely not for teens.

      Bypass surgery is serious business. I know, I've had it. I do not think it is appropriate for a teenager, but then, I'm not a doctor. I would think it would have to be an extreme case.

      Society is woefully ignorant about the causes of morbid obesity. Your respinse proves it.

      October 5, 2010 at 20:40 | Report abuse |
    • Floris

      How is it anyone's business what kind of surgery someone has? It's a surgery of last resort, and I've seen it work wonders. Do you walk up to old ladies and tell them that maybe if they'd bothered to take calcium supplements every day they wouldn't have needed that new hip? Thought not.

      October 6, 2010 at 02:37 | Report abuse |
  2. Karen

    Why using orthodox methods to lose weight? Gastric bypass surgeries cost a lot of money and are not the solution. People have to change their diet and lifestyle. Obesity is a hormonal disorder, leading to excessive fat accumulation. To learn how obesity comes into existence, how we can prevent it and force it back, you can see in this video http://bit.ly/duSiUK

    October 5, 2010 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Floris

      And other people's health care is your business because...? Why don't you list the medications you take and all the ways that you are trying to maintain your health. Any surgeries? Scars? Miscarriages? We'll wait, since it's our business.

      October 6, 2010 at 02:40 | Report abuse |
  3. kat

    maybe because they were fat to begin with and ate total crap- their bodies were not prepared to start and nurture life, whether they had bypass or not. Ive known two girls in their 20s who had gastric bypass and they still eat fastfood, sweets and other junk no mother in training or any person for that matter, should be eating on a regular basis.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. EF

    So Farmer says teen girls should not have a possibly life-saving procedure because of POTENTIAL future harm to a fetus that has yet to be planned or conceived?
    Opposing gastric bypass because of safety, effectiveness, or cost is one thing, but Farmer's recommendation is absurd. Any gastric bypass patient should have nutritional counseling & be warned of all possible dangers, but the potential danger to a theoretical baby shouldn't prevent teen girls from getting this surgery.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rachel

      Well girls and woman in general are told Folic Acid is important, even if they are not even considering children at all, because unplanned pregnancies happen.

      And it doesn't say that Farmer believes teenagers shouldn't have bypass surgery because of defects. She could be concerned as are others about the lack of information about long term effects, this teens have to live another 50-60 years with a stapled stomach, do we know its gonna hold up?

      But she primarily advocates the nutritional counciling which I think everyone undergoing a gastric bypass should receive.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah

    most people dont realize that in most cases woman have gastric bypass surgery so they can have children. I recently have had gastric bypass surgery and i would do it again. It was the best thing i ever did. I too have tried many diets and exercise and for the first time in my life i feel good about my self. I have lost 115 pounds in 9 months. I would like to lose another 20 pounds. The unfortuante thing about comment boards especially ones like this is the people making comments about "Diets" have never had to diet a day in their life and have no clue how the rest of us live or feel. I hope to have a baby in the near future and because of this surgery it will now become a possibility.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Deej

      Good luck Sarah! I hope you conceive soon and enjoy parenthood! I am glad you have had success with your surgery.


      October 5, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Good luck, Sarah. My daughter had a bypass as a teen and just gave birth to a healthy baby girl. I hope all your wishes come true, you deserve it!

      October 6, 2010 at 08:07 | Report abuse |
  6. jill

    Every gastric bypass patient is counseled about nutrition, malabsorption, and risks inherent to both mother and baby should they choose pregnancy in the future. Most gp surgeons require a patient be on birth control for at least the first year. And any pregnant woman who has had gastric bypass should be treated as a high risk pregnancy. These are all facts. And yes, I agree that the risks are many. However, we all must weigh the risks against the benefits and make the choice for ourselves. I am not, in general, opposed to teens getting the surgery but clearly there needs to be more control on the process by both the bariatric program and the parents when it's a teen patient.

    Oh, and if losing weight the "proper" way worked we wouldn't be dealing with an epidemic of obesity in the developed world. So, get off your high horses people. Judge not lest ye be judged.

    October 5, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Ann

    From time to time, I see stories like this and others about childhood diseases. Yet, I have found no study that addresses what I feel is a very imprtant issue – the FOOD factor. I mean about how what's in the foods we eat factor into obesity and childhood diseases. With so many foods being heavily processed using by-products, preservatives, hormones and other chemicals. Even our fruits and vegetables don't escape them. Some foods even have chemicals that are addictive which leads to over-eating and future cravings. We shouldn't have to pay a pretty penny to buy foods free of them. It doesn't matter how much fiber or less suger a product has in it. If it's highly processed, it ain't good for you. But nobody seems to want to address this issue. I bet once we crack down on companies that make these products, perhaps this obesity epidemic will slip away. As consumers, we have the power to tell the companies that produce and sell these kinds of foods that we don't want it. FIght the cravings and don't buy them. Once they see their fat wallets get slimmer, they'll listen and comply.

    October 5, 2010 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Anon1234567

    The problem isn't gastric bypass surgery. It's when people are too immature to comply with the required after care. It is well established–in fact is is the PURPOSE of the surgery (one of the purposes) to reduce food absorption. That translates into less nutrient absorption. And that means TAKE YOUR VITAMINS. Every gastric bypass patient must take vitamins!!! If these young women are too immature to understand the necessary after care in relation to their gastric bypass surgery, then they are not good candidates. And frankly if they are so immature that they can't be bothered to take vitamins, then I worry about their readiness to be parents.

    October 5, 2010 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Lesley

    I had a full gastric bypass in 1998. I've since had FOUR children. One in 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2009. Every single child was in perfect health and NTD free.

    Don't knock bypass surgery. For some, its the only answer. But its part of a lifelong process. Not just a one hit wonder.

    Just educate yourself first and make an informed choice.

    October 5, 2010 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Futbol Czarina

      Congrats on your family. Children are a blessing. Your body may have had enough time to lose the weight and then heal itself prior to getting pregnant. Hopefully others will follow your example and give themselves time to heal before beginning their families.

      October 5, 2010 at 20:52 | Report abuse |
  10. kb

    Um... how about teenage girls should not get pregnant? There was like one line in this article about reliable birth control!

    October 5, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. natalie

    That's why you should LISTEN TO YOUR SURGEON

    October 5, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. KDW

    Either I'm missing something or the author of this article left out some key information. First off it does not tell me anything to say she found seven total cases of NTD in mothers who had gastric bypass. How large is the population of mothers with gastric bypass? What percentage of that population has children with NTD? What is the percentage of NTD in mothers who have not had gastric bypass surgery? What is the percentage of NTD broken down by age and wether or not the women had had gastric bypass? Based on the information in this article there is no way to draw any conclusions about wether or not gastric bypass surgery increases the risk of NTD for any group of women.

    October 5, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jason

    A big problem our society as a whole has today is the lack of self control and a want of instant gratification. Anyone can lose weight but it's slow, these surgeries offer a quick fix that allows you to keep doing what you love doing, eating anything you like. Obesity is running wild because we never tell ourselves 'no' and we 'want' the fast food over healthy food so that's what we're going to have.
    We have a bigger is better mentality that makes our eating habits absolutely disgusting. How many people here buy a family sized bag of chips and end up eating all in one night, I do, should I, hell no. I buy it because of the perceived value and saving but then don't maintain my self control and stop myself from eating the whole damn thing. I recognized that I had this weakness and stopped buying chips in large bags, once and a while I'll indulge myself in a large bag of baked chips for old times sake(same fat as a small bag of regular chips, feels like I'm being bad, win – win). We all have this problem and need to recognize it and rethink our choices. If you look at the food guides recommend portions and look at the meals we eat they are very different. 12, 16 and 22oz steaks instead of the recommended 3 or 4 oz serving size. The French are a good example here, their foods are rich and fatty, made with creams and butters, but how often do you see an obese Parisian. Why? small serving sizes, those fancy meals that are a dollop of something in the middle of the plate aren't just small because they're expensive, they're healthier serving sizes. That and they will walk and otherwise exercise(don't get me started on exercise).
    Simple choices can make a big difference, get a salad (not taco) with your burger, get a single or double burger even rather than a triple, leave off the bacon from time to time. I found I could still have 'naughty' foods as long as I was smart about it, and I also found that the portion control was a major factor in losing weight(no up-sizing, it's a trap).
    Eat less and lose weight, will you feel hungry? YES, that's how you know it's working, you job is maintaining the will to ignore the hunger or find ways to appease it that doesn't involve a 1000 calorie meal. It will get better in time and it's definitely not easy but you will eventually stop getting as hungry. You may even find out you like the healthy food and are no longer able to eat the junk foods(at least as much, we all fall off the wagon).

    October 5, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dusk

      You know not of which you speak. Gastric Bypass patients can not "keep doing what you love doing, eating anything you like." Anything high in sugar or fat can make you violently ill post surgery. Even something that you have eaten since surgery, if you go overboard is likely to make you ill.

      Your points regarding smaller portion sizes are correct. Even those that can control their portion sizes may have bodies that absorb things differently than your body. Get off your soap box and crawl back into the hole where you belong.

      October 5, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • MomOf3

      Jason, I wish it were as simple as to not eat as much. A stomach can only shrink to so small a size, and even for those with a "normal" sized stomach, eating less isn't always a factor. Because of the types of foods I have to eat, I usually end up hungry every couple of hours. Starving in fact. My stomach has growled loud enough for others to hear it within 2 hours of polishing off a plate of spinach salad. Unfortunately for me, I can't eat many of the foods that sit longer in our system so I have to find another alternative to keep my stomach at least full enough to be content. Yes I too have found ways to have my cake and eat it too. I can go to McDonalds and have breakfast every day if I wanted to.... Eggs and sausage and unsweet tea. I don't eat the hashbrown, the biscuit or anything else that goes with it. I have some apple dippers (without the caramel sauce) and there is my breakfast.... 2 hours later I'm starving again. I can have chicken sandwiches (grilled) no sauce, no fries (salad no dressing) and an unsweet tea. If I so much as touch a carb like the bread (anywhere) the fries, any of it, I can guarantee I will put on all the weight. I hold all cheese and add extra lettuce and tomato to everything I order

      Go online, do a calorie count of the foods you are choosing to order at a fast food joint. Make alterations to the food you choose to eat and this will go a long way in helping at least eat a healthy diet, but a healthy diet is just one factor. Genetics, HONEST METABOLIC problems, and exercise all factor in. OH and look for foods with sugar rather than High Fructose Corn Syrup. Despite the recent commercial about sugar being sugar no matter where it comes from is bogus!

      October 5, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Another expert who knows absolutely NOTHING about what he's talking about. One cannot eat a great many things after having this procedure. Sugar and overly fatty foods cannot be tolerated, as it makes one very sick.

      There's no point in going into the reasons for this surgery. Most people are so ignorant, like this writer, that they wouldn't understand anyway.

      October 5, 2010 at 20:50 | Report abuse |
    • xojmo

      "These surgeries offer a quck fix?" You do know that you don't magically lose all the weight overnight right? Overeating and obesity is something one has to deal with for their whole lives. Just becuase you get bariatric surgery it certainly doesn't mean you don't want to continue eating foods that are bad for you. The surgery is a TOOL to lose weight. It is not a quick fix. If you do not change your whole lifestyle after getting the surgery you will still be fat.

      Also, why is this teen having a baby? Why are teens allowed to get this surgery? I guess once she lost all the weight guys wanted to do her and she got so excited she forgot about birth control??

      October 6, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
  14. MomOf3

    For those who insist lifestyle changes and diet and exercise are all that is needed, it's not always that simple. I have battled weight issues since I hit puberty. I was a highly active child and a highly active teenager. From ages 13 to 16 I spent the better part of 5 hours a night in a Tae Kwon Do studio. I never hit my ideal weight. Once I stopped the rigorous training, my weight shot up. I did not eat in an unhealthy manner, I still exercised, but not like I had been. I have since had 3 children and cannot seem to keep my weight off no matter my lifestyle habits. I know of no one other than body builders who can spend up to 5 hours a day working out in the gym or on any other activity, and even my physicians have told me it is unreasonable. I will never be thin, I don't qualify for gastric bypass due to my metabolic problem and even though I eat healthy food, it is not a regular diet. My body does not like carbohydrates in the form of starches or grains. Because of this, my diet is limited to fruits, veggies, lean protein, and two servings of whole grains. I don't drink soda or juice, I drink water or unsweet iced tea, and every once in a blue moon I indulge in a sweet treat for myself. I exercise daily for about an hour and a half and will just have to accept that I will always be overweight. My doctors attribute my problem to PCOS, a disorder I have had since I hit puberty, but am fortunate enough to not have the infertility issues associated with the condition. There is no cure for this condition, but there are treatment options.

    For people who have this surgery, many times it is lack of self control, and emotional issues that lead to the morbid obesity. The surgery does not always work either. A friend of mine had the surgery, and is now just as heavy as she was before she had the surgery. She lost over 100 lbs and put it all back on in the 4 years since she had it done. She claims to eat right but when I've invited her out to breakfast, she informs me she already ate some cookies, or cake or donuts. Then she tells the doctor she's eating right and they are left scratching their heads trying to figure out how she's gained all her weight back. Add to this that she's also not informing them of the hot dogs she eats, the soda she drinks on a regular basis, the coffee she laces with tons of sugar etc.

    For some, this surgery works wonders and is a life saving option that has led many to a healthy, active lifestyle, and these people have implemented the changes for the surgery to be a success and I give kudos to those people. Some have even gotten pregnant after having the surgery and have managed to successfully give birth, but followed a very strict regiment of vitamins etc. Underage teenage girls who are even allowed to balloon out of control have more going on than just overeating. A long acting birth control method in the form of IUD/Shot, something, should be mandatory before these girls are allowed to have the surgery performed.

    October 5, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Rebecka

    I don't understand...if one "can't" lose weight before gastric bypass surgery, then has the procedure and loses weight, and the only difference between before and after it how much one eats...then isn't the real problem just eating too much?!?!

    So instead of having major surgery, how about eating less??? Go see a hypnotist...pretend you've already had the surgery. The stop stuffing food and drink in and get up and move more.

    I'm no skinny minnie here. Five years ago, I lost 80 lbs by doing just what I'm preaching and kept it off since. And I have a wacky thyroid and other health problems. And I had two babies in those five years. Stop making excuses and just start!

    October 5, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ER Doc

      Let me state for the record that I am a doctor and had the surgery myself at age 29 after a lifetime spent starving myself and working out to no avail. Unfortunately for me, my family has a bad weight problem that has nothing to do with overeating on McDonalds. I do believe many obese people overeat and make poor nutritional decisions or opt for cheaper, less healthy options due to cost.

      Gastric bypass surgery is not just about caloric restriction. It also involves complex hormonal interactions, which is why diabetic patients are off their medications the day after surgery. We do not have all the answers as to why this is and it is being investigated. Ten years ago, the medical community did not understand that fat had an impact on our hormones and operated as anything other than a storage device. Who knows what we will learn in the next ten years. Do not judge me and those of us who have had the surgery.

      surgeons should be advising their patients to have effective birth control. Pregnancies should be planned and under a physician's supervision before it even begins. And pregnancy is never a good idea until the mother is responsible emotionally, financially, spiritually and physicially to have the child.

      October 5, 2010 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  16. Dusk

    Gastric Bypass also has other health benefits. In a large percentage of people with type 2 diabetes, the diabetes is resolved immediately after surgery. Before the patient even loses a significant amount of weight. This point has nothing to do with this article, it is in response to the other comments that are off topic.

    October 5, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Billshut

    A good friend just had twins earlier this year, after having had gastric bypass surgery done a couple years ago. While her girls were born premature, they were both born healthy, with no complications. She did tell me, though, that "eating for 3" was difficult (to say the least!) after having GB done.

    Why in the world, though, would a teenage girl have to have gastic bypass surgery done? While some teens might have weight problems, they certainly also have the capability of increasing their metabolism through diet and exercise (much more so than folks in their middle age would), and should exhaust ALL avenues of losing weight before going through such a life changing procedure! It's a shame her surgeon didn't turn her down for the surgery, and suggest she try other methods first!

    October 5, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RMan

    "Farmer believes teen girls should not have bypass surgery."

    How about, "Farmer believes than teen girls should not have BABIES!" I also believe that I should not have to pay for these teens continued care through Odumma-Care, nor should I have to pay for the original gastric bypass surgery. Why is it my responsibility, through taxes, to help someone lose weight through surgery when it's their fault in the first place that the couldn't put down the G-forsaken cheeseburger?!?! Am I also going to have to pay for their child's gastric bypass? If the parent can't get it through her thick skull to not eat the 10th Twinkie, how likely is it that she teaches better eating habits to her own kid?
    Listen up, America. Take responsibility for your own poor health choices. If you smoke 2 packs a day for 20 years, pay for your own chemo. If you don't want be 5'5" and 275 pounds, don't go to McD's. If you don't want your kid to die of measles or chicken pox (yes they can KILL kids, you homeopathic naturopathic psychopathic left-wingnuts), give them their vaccines, or don't come crying to me to pay the hospital bill.
    Make good health choices, and I'll happily pay my taxes to give your kid a leg up to college, help out your bro or sis that kicked butt in Iraq, even a little hand-out to get you back on your feet when your auto plant folds. Live stupid, die stupid, clean out the gene pool.

    October 5, 2010 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ER Doc

      Wow- this smacks of some classic prejudice against obese people and alot of ignorance. Obesity is the last acceptable prejudice in America. Not everyone who is overweight stuffs 10 twinkies in their mouths or is a couch potato. And for those who do make poor choices, it is hard being the fat kid, shunned by your peers. Self-esteem is hard enough to come by as a teenager for those who are "normal size".

      Come walk a mile in my shoes. I waited tables, got a blackbelt in karate and was incredibly active and still weighed well over 200 pounds for most of my life, being 5'7" until I got the surgery. Ironically, now I can eat far more than I did when I was 300 pounds and it has to do with the hormonal interactions in my body (one reason I chose the bypass and not the lap band). There are genetic predispositions and tendencies that cause variations in why one person can eat as much as they want and never seem to gain a pound and other people look at a carb the wrong way and gain weight.

      for those of you obsessed with the costs of the obesity epidemic, consider that the surgery may cost upwards of 25K but the lifetime costs associated with diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure far exceed that of surgery.

      October 5, 2010 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
  19. JAE1983

    What do you want to bet that most of those who have this surgery, then go on to have children, blame genetics for their obesity? If that's true, why would they want to risk passing it on to a child?

    October 6, 2010 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Liz

      There are worse things to pass on to your child than obesity ...

      October 6, 2010 at 08:10 | Report abuse |
  20. tat2mommie

    I am scheduled to get gastric bypass surgery on November 30th. I am getting it done at the University of Minnesota, and I can tell you that they don't just go around doing these surgeries willy-nilly. You have to go through months of dietician consults so you can understand everything you need to know about proper eating and vitamin intake post surgery. You have to get a psychological exam and have sessions with a therapist, lots of blood work and other labs done. I don't think that it's a process that a lot of teenage girls can handle (much like motherhood!) In fact, I first looked into the surgery when I was 19, and decided at that time that it was too drastic for me and I was not ready. I am now 26, married, and have a 3 year old son. So, I feel that now is the time, and it's something that I have to do. I've been over-weight for my entire life. I don't eat fast food, don't drink pop, limit any sweets to very small quantities, exercise and I am still obese. There is definitely a genetic factor. The women in my family all have problems with obesity. Both my mother and my sister have had to have weight loss surgeries. My brother on the other hand, who was fed the same things we were and did all the same activities we did, has never had a problem with weight. Do any of you people who gripe about obese people losing weight the "proper" way ever stop to think that if it were that easy, we'd have done it?! And think about this: most people who diet do so without doctor supervision. At least after surgery, we are required to check up with our doctors/surgeons, have our vitamin levels checked, meet with dieticians. I know that when I am losing weight, I am doing so safely, and frankly if it's safe and effective, it's nobody's business how I am doing it. It beats doing nothing about it.

    October 6, 2010 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pixie

      Doesn't matter how easy it is to lose weight, it's still easier for the obese to just grab some fast food for dinner instead of making healthy food. Then the rest of us have to listen to them cry about how huge they are. I love when obese people try and say they don't even eat that much. Bull. I'm 5'7"v and 120lbs. I have this body because I work on it. The same for you. You are obese because you work at it.

      October 6, 2010 at 09:31 | Report abuse |
    • tat2mommie

      @pixie congratulations on "working on" your body. You're BMI actually indicates that you are underweight. I could make a comment about being glad that you managed to take your finger out of the back of your throat long enough to comment. Assuming that I'm overweight because I "just grab some fast food" (which I never eat, as not only is it completely disgusting, but I have food allergies and can only eat certain things) is akin to me assuming that you live your life with your face in the toilet bowl. But unlike you, I make no assumptions or judgements as to why you weigh what you do. A courtesy that you could have extended to me, seeing as you know nothing about me. Never once in my life have I "cried about how huge" I am. Size is not what is important to me. I'm not doing it so I can flaunt my body. I find my self worth in other things, lasting things, because as I'm sure you're aware, bodies pretty much all go to hell as we age anyway. And not that it is your or anyone else's business why anyone does anything, but I am doing this because I have a 3 year old with autism who will probably depend on me for years more than an average child would. You and so many others here are too far on your high horse to realize that these people are trying to make a positive change in their lives. Instead of being so preoccupied with how they got the way they are, why can't you just be glad that they're taking steps to fix it now, rather than bleed your tax dollars for all the care they would need for diabetes and heart disease in their elderly years. I have my own insurance that I pay for. I work. I am taking steps now to ensure that nothing I do in my life is ever going to have any impact on you personally, so why do you even care?

      October 6, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
  21. JMS

    Ugh. People don't need surgery to become morbidly obese, so having surgery to lose hundreds of pounds is just wrong. It's cheating. For example: A woman at my workplace wanted gastric bypass surgery. Her doctor told her she was 50 pounds too "light" for it to be an option. So what did this cow do? That's right. She gained 50 pounds so her doctor would allow the surgery.

    @ Richard: I don't think the article indicated that teenagers were having babies. It was saying that women, who had bariatric surgery as teenagers, were having a higher occurrence of these birth defects when they had children in adulthood.

    October 6, 2010 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      Think you need to read the article again. It specifically states "Teen who recently had gb surgery"

      October 6, 2010 at 06:27 | Report abuse |
    • xojmo

      You really sound like an a-hole. Sorry, but you do. Cow? And we wonder why people continue to get bullied. Because "adults" like you think it's okay to call people names. That woman's life has nothing to do with yours. You are not paying for her surgery. What do you care?

      October 6, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
  22. Austin B

    I think there's a big problem if people this young (ie like 17-18) are getting this kind of surgery done....if you're that age and already morbidly obese, you've been eating the WWROONGG foods and not doing any physical work......
    This surgery used to be, and should only be used as a very last resort (like for someone where traditional weight-loss methods would be dangerous to the heart, etc.)...but this surgery is now being used so freely on people who could otherwise start dieting, loose some weight and then start actually EXERCISING to keep loosing more......but, if you wana be lazy....be my guest....just don't make me pay for your problems when we start federal health insurance......

    October 6, 2010 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Los Angeles weight loss surgery

    As i read your blog it tells us that the chances of going for gastric surgery is 50-50.
    we can't predict anything before it.Because there are equal no. of advantages and disadvantages.But my opinion is we don;t have to go for this surgery do excercise or something to loose your fat. After having your surgery its mandatory that you have to control your eating like pizza etc.Otherwise you will regain your weight after some time..so the surgery will not remain effective.But its tough for those who usually like eating and fast food.I saw some patients that can't stop eating and the surgery for those will not remain effective.

    December 24, 2010 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.