Weight Loss Surgery
There are a range of medications used for weight loss. However, they are generally not very effective in the long run and side effects can be worse than the relative unease of carrying so much additional weight.
Early attempts utilised amphetamines, which caused heart defects and were highly addictive. Newer attempts focus on metabolism boosting, appetite suppression, and prevention of fat absorption. However, these drugs can cause such wide rangeing side effects as liver dysfunction, stroke, and psychotic events. Hardly worth the occassional 5% loss of body weight.
The most important factor in weight loss medication is that they focus on weight loss. That is, they are mainly developed to treat the symptom of a complex set of physiological interactions and not the possible causes.
Weight Loss Surgery (or Bariatric Surgery) is on the rise. These surgeries focus on the limiting of stomach size, effectively forcing smaller portion sizes and limiting the intake of oily, high fat foods.
Bariatric surgery often results in extreme weight loss and reduction in many co-morbid health problems. However, it is not without significant risk. Common complications from surgery (in addition to the ever present risk of never coming out of anesthesia) include: infection, digestive problems, bleeding, heart attack, intestinal leaks, and problems absorbing vitamins and nutrients.
Again, as with medication, weight loss surgery focuses only on weight loss. Losing a significant amount of weight through surgery does not address underlying issues and many patients are faced with continued problems with disordered eating, body image, and addictive behaviors.
Faced with the pain of pervasive weight discrimination and feeling discomfort in your own body can lead many obese individuals to look for "quick fixes" for weight loss such as medication or weight loss surgery. Unfortunately, weight loss does not always equal good health and "quick fixes" often create their own set of complications.
Why isn't there a safe weight-loss pill? - Madison Park (CNN)
Extreme Weight Loss Techniques - Dustin Driver (askmen)
Diet Drugs Work: Why Won't Doctors Prescribe Them? - Suzanne Koven (The New Yorker)
The Real Deal Behind Diet Pills - Erin Richards (livescience)
Explainer: the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery - Tania Markovic (The Converstation)
After Huge Weight Loss, Sagging Skin Remains - Melissa Dahl (NBC News)
Weight loss surgery patients are 'more likely' to become dependent on alcohol - Sophie Borland (Daily Mail)
Weight Loss Surgery: Not everyone lives 'happily ever after' - Honor Whiteman (Medical News Today)