We’ve been reading a lot lately about severely obese pets who have been put on highly effective diets by more responsible pet owners. The sad truth for us human beings is that defeating even the worst cases of obesity is far easier for pets – thanks to their lack of opposable thumbs to open refrigerator doors with, companion animals only need a responsible human to make sure they eat properly. However, with constant access to cheap calories in the form of appealing junk foods, people in the industrialized world are analogous to pets who have been offered unlimited access to treats. Small wonder then, that obesity has gone out of control.
The reason weight loss surgery remains the go-to solution for severely overweight patients who want to improve their health and overall quality of life, has everything to do with the fact that the freedom to control one’s own diet can be an extremely mixed blessing. Even casual dieters who only want to lose a few extra pounds typically find the process of reducing their food intake challenging — and keeping those extra pounds off is usually even harder. This is because when people cut back on their caloric intake, their bodies start manufacturing more of the hormones that cause hungry feelings. Many theorize that this phenomenon evolved to make individuals safer from the famines that were a genuine threat through most of human history. The medical group adds that, if it’s a challenge for a relatively thin person to lose a few pounds, the problem becomes exponentially worse for severely obese individuals,
Weight loss surgery gets to the root cause of obesity by addressing the problem of excessive appetite. A procedure like a sleeve gastrectomy reduces the size of the stomach by as much as 85 percent, which makes overeating uncomfortable. The group notes, however, that that is only part of the benefit. This bariatric procedure also drastically reduces the amount of hunger-inducing hormones produced by the body. The result is that substantial permanent weight loss typically becomes highly achievable, though still challenging. With surgery, most humans may still find weight loss a little bit more difficult than their fur-bearing friends, but they can produce before-and-after results that are every bit as impressive.