Diet and Exercise or Weight Loss Surgery – Food&Nutrition Example

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"Diet and Exercise or Weight Loss Surgery" is a perfect example of a paper on food and nutrition.   Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to address the issue of why so many people choose weight loss surgery (Bariatric surgery) over more traditional methods of weight loss such as adhering to a strict diet and exercise regiment. Introduction: While it may be the case that weight loss surgery is a risky solution to an obesity problem the procedure carries with it many risks. Adhering to a reasonable weight-loss regiment through diet and exercise offers fewer risks but is more difficult to adhere to.

This paper hopes to determine why these trends exist. Organization: The format that this paper will utilize is to first Identify some common obesity and health trends followed by a description of the various weight loss surgeries available. Provide a discussion of the various benefits and weaknesses of these surgeries. Discuss some of the different social and medical reasons as to why a person would opt to utilize a weight loss surgery. Discuss some of the various ‘ traditional’ methods of weight loss. Discuss the difficulties that people may have with adhering to such strategies. Discuss why people choose surgery over exercise & diet and visa versa. Provide a conclusion. When people speak of so-called ‘ Weight Loss Surgery’ in general they are speaking of three different surgeries. Lap Band- which is called a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (AGB) in the medical community.

This particular method of weight loss surgery according to the National Institute of Health (2009) works primarily by restricting the amount of food that one can physically intake. Effectively a small elastic band around the area where the digestive tract meets with the stomach and ultimately restricts the amount of food that can get through and ultimately makes it very uncomfortable for a person to overeat.

Although this procedure does involve surgery it does not involve any major cutting or removing of significant portions of the digestive tract and can ultimately be removed eventually. Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy- According to Shazier et el (2010) involves cutting away a large portion of the stomach (Typically approximately 85%) effectively turning the stomach into an extension of the intestinal tract and ultimately reduces the amount of food that a person can intake.

Unlike AGB this procedure is not reversible. Gastric Bypass Surgery- According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2010) involves physically creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach which can hold about 30 grams a then cutting the small intestine and attaching it physically to this new pouch (Effectively creating a new smaller stomach) and bypassing most of the rest of the stomach. The benefit of all of these surgeries as highlighted in all of the aforementioned articles is that they fundamentally reduce the amount of food that can physically be consumed and then ultimately cause dramatic weight loss in a short amount of time.

Moreover, people who undergo these surgeries typically see a vast improvement in the reduction of symptoms from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, sleeping problems, high cholesterol, and other obesity-related problems. Like all major surgeries, these procedures carry several risks such as hospital-related infections, gastric dumping syndrome, pneumonia, hernias, etc. Long term risk with bypass surgery is a risk of vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis, and related illnesses. The reasoning behind why so many people opt for this type of procedure is complex. From one perspective people opt for this type of surgery for immediate results, such as imminent health problems from severe obesity, whereas if the procedure is not performed then there is a high likelihood that the individual may suffer long term health consequences such as loss of limbs from diabetes, or death from heart failure. Many people opt for the surgery out of real (or perceived) desperation.

Many people suffer from real over-eating disorders and the prospect of solving the situation through surgery seems to be a favored option for a lot of people.

Although it could be argued that many people opt for weight loss surgery when it is the case that a more sensible option would be to explore more traditional means of weight loss. On the other end of the spectrum, it is the case that arguably the healthiest option for people to lose weight is through modifications to diet and exercise. According to a report by the World Health Organization as espoused by the BBC (2003), the key to achieving and maintaining healthy body weight is to eat less high-calorie foods, avoid processed sugars, reduce overall salt intake, eat fresh foods and increase the overall amount of exercise. As far as exercise is concerned many people simply maintain a lifestyle that is highly sedentary. Why a person may have an unhealthy lifestyle and have difficulties in adhering to an exercise regiment can be exemplified through an example. a person may live in a suburban area where most stores can only be reached in an automobile, and they can only get to their work in an automobile, and they opt to take elevators rather than stairs.

Moreover, these same people opt not to frequent fitness studios which means that they simply do not burn many overall calories. Building on this point, many people simply keep a lifestyle that is so busy that they do not get the opportunity to cook fresh meals and opt for quicker, processed, higher calorie, meals. With this increased caloric intake and decreased caloric burning it is no question that many people become overweight or obese. According to Larkin (1996), once a person is obese it an individual becomes in a way ‘ addicted’ to this lifestyle and it becomes harder and harder to shift one’ s life processes to a healthier option.

This argument that many people are a victim to their obesity is prevalent in today’ s media. However, it was again argued by Larkin (1996) that there should not be a ‘ miracle’ weight solution. Losing weight sensibly required a multifaceted approach that should incorporate reasonable goals, improved eating habits, and achieving adequate exercise. Whilst this may be difficult advice there is no question that it is hard for most people to incorporate. Without question, weight loss surgery is here to stay.

However, its application and utilization really should be restricted to those how absolutely need it to remedy a dire medical condition and should not be viewed as a simple fix to a problem. Sensible weight loss is achievable by almost any person and although it may be difficult to achieve through diet and exercise this remains the safest and simplest method and arguably carries the least amount of risk.

Sensible as it may be it still remains difficult for many people to achieve. According to the BBC (2003), almost a billion people worldwide are now obese.


• BBC (2003) Eat Less Processed Food, say Experts. BBC One-Minute World News. [online] Available at Accessed on November 16th.

• Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2010) Bariatric surgery: No cosmetic procedure. [online] Available at Accessed on November 16th 2010.

• Larkin, M. (1996) losing Weight Safely. FDA Consumer. [online] Available at;col1 Accessed on November 16th 2010.

• National institute of Health (2009) Bariatric Surgery for Severe Obesity U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [online] Available at Accessed on November 16th 2010.

• Shazeer, K., Schauer, P., Birch, D., Sharma, A., & Sherman, V. (Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: an Innovative New Tool in the Battle against the Obesity Epidemic in Canada. Canadian Journal of Surgery. [online] Available at;col1 Accessed on November 16th 2010.

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