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While television shows such as The Biggest Loser and Fit to Fat entertain a great many viewers, they improperly depict weight loss methods that lead to healthy, long-term results, says a recent op-ed piece published on the Wausau Daily Herald. Writer Eliza Kingsford, a licensed psychotherapist and certified personal trainer, explains that contestants on the show exercise for six to eight hours a day and eat very severely restricted diets. These practices, she explains, are not only unsustainable and even potentially dangerous habits, but are also misrepresentative of the weight loss journey a great many Americans face.

Ms. Kingsford adds that, “the true measure of [weight loss] success is consistently engaging in healthy behaviors over time.” Ms. Kingsford’s article makes an important point; bariatric procedures, often in conjunction with such techniques as professional coaching, really do lead to healthful and sustainable weight loss results.

For individuals struggling with obesity or obesity and related comorbidities, bariatric procedures are scientifically proven to be effective in the long-term. When it comes to harmful comorbidities associated with severe obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and high cholesterol, bariatric procedures can reduce their impact, and even outright reverse some conditions. Here are some of the most popular bariatric procedures we offer:

  •  Sleeve gastrectomy – Also known as the gastric sleeve, the procedure has been popularized by celebrities such as Rosie O’ Donnell and reality TV star E.J. Johnson, who have experienced excellent weight loss results. This minimally invasive surgical procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach, which makes the patient feel fuller faster than previously. An added benefit is that this results in a reduction in the production of hunger-inducing hormones, which helps patients gain control and ultimately adjust their eating habits.
  •  Orbera gastric balloon – For patients with body mass indexes (BMIs) under 40, or for those who aren’t ready to try bariatric surgery, the Orbera gastric balloon is a new, non-surgical FDA-approved weight loss procedure. The procedure involves endoscopically inserting a balloon into the stomach through the patient’s mouth. Once comfortably inside, the balloon is gently inflated to approximately the size of a grapefruit. By taking up a portion of the stomach capacity, the balloon is intended to help patients feel fuller sooner into their meals and to reduce the urge to overeat. The balloon is typically removed after 6 months and, just like all types of bariatric procedures, patients are expected to keep following a structured diet and behavior modification program.
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