Marc Ambinder, of The Atlantic, tackles one of this country’s most endemic problems: obsesity.
Ambinder, himself once obese, makes the case that bariatric surgery is the only bona-fide way to cure severe obesity in this country.
In the half century since surgeons began performing bariatric procedures, the surgery’s mortality rate has declined to half of 1 percent, and its long-term success rate—people who keep at least 50 percent of their excess body weight off for several years—has become exceptional. For reasons clinicians still don’t quite understand, the surgery seems to cure diabetes, sometimes instantly. The surgery does not work for everyone: some people who endure it will essentially regrow their stomachs and gain back the weight. Though the rate of minor complications can exceed 30 percent, the incidence of more-severe complications is less than 3 percent. But the procedure is still an equalizing force: for a honeymoon period, about six months to a year after surgery, it allows you to resist the environmental and physical pressures that intensify appetite and food addiction.
Ambinder also lays out his first principles for beating obesity over at his blog.