Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I was casually laying on my bed reading Cleo, a magazine that I've been reading since I was 15. I AM SO PISSED OFF.....
There is an article on page 172 entitled "7 secrets the weight loss industry will never tell you". Secret 3 is:
We're watching an explosion in the growth of the type of surgery almost unimaginable until recently- baratric (or "weight loss") surgery. There are two main methods used: bypass and banding, with banding more popular due to its quicker recovery time and seeming simplicity. I'm convinced that the vast majority of people choosing to have their stomachs cut open or plastic devices installed inside them don't need to. In fact, they'd be better served by working to change their lifestyles and becoming healthier by using food as medicine rather than a mechanical intrusion to the body, with all the inherent risks. "The simple fact about WLS is that these patients need nutrional support, counselling and effective behaviour modification. There is no evidence that WLS makes people healthy"says US consumer health advocate Mike Adams. So leave the operations for the people who actually need surgery to save their lives"

I AM SORRY BUT NO. THE WHOLE ARTICLE IS FLAWED..... I couldnt help myself, I had to email the editor, here is what I've said:

To Whom It May Concern,

I have read this magazine since I was 15 years old. I buy it every month and love laying in bed turning every page. However this month I was massively offended by an article you had in your Decemeber issue entitled "7 secrets the weight loss industry will never tell you". Secret number 3 discussed the topic of weight loss surgery. 9 months ago I had weight loss surgery and have to date, lost 29 kilos. For your "whistleblower" to say "there is no evidence whatsoever that bariatric surgery makes people healthy" is COMPLETELY false. I could tell you numerous stories of people I know who have had their lives saved by WLS. One such person is my father. He had the gastric band 6 weeks after me. Without having lost much weight at all, my father went from being type 2 diabetic, suffering sleep aponea and high blood pressure, to being completely cleared of all three issues. Is it also proven that the gastric band can cure diabetes. "No evidence whatsoever that bariatric surgery makes people healthy"...... hmmm that doesn't seem to measure up now does it?
How about the mental health of people who have had WLS? I myself could not imagine my life without this surgery 9 months ago. As sad as it is, Im not sure if I would have one. I was very depressed and my body image was down the drain, I couldn't even leave the house.
"So leave the operations for people who actually need surgery to save their lives"...... another enraging statement from this completely ill informed person. Like I said, without this surgery I wouldnt be alive. My mental health or physical health would have killed me soon enough. As well as my father. And thousands more people I know and talk to on a daily basis on the LIFE SAVING gastric banding.
Next flaw in this article is the statement "with banding more popular due to its quicker recovery time and seeming simplicity". There is nothing simple about being banded. If you read my blog or talked to anyone who is banded, they know that this is a daily thing we live with. People who are soon to be banded also know this, as they are informed at the compulsory information session you attend pre-banding.
It is also stated in this enraging article that people need nutrional support, conselling and effective behaviour modifications. It implies that we are not given this. Completely false. I have been seeing a dietician since pre banding, my surgeon as well as another doctor once a month to discuss all issues I have with the band.
Does this "whistleblower" honestly think someone wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says "wow, i packed it on, i better go have WLS!". WLS is always the last resort. Its proven that obesity is an ILLNESS. And all those diets, we've tried them. And the frustrating "eat well and exercise", yeah, we've all done that too. Doesn't work for us. So for him to be convinced that the vast majority of people who have WLS dont need to , it just does not make sense.
I honestly could continue but I don't know if there is any point. In future, you need to watch what you print. You need to double check you facts, because I would bet MY BAND that any surgeon who performs WLS could pick several holes in this article, just like I have.
I am honestly unsure if I will continue reading this magazine. I am truly offended. I have posted your article, as well as this letter on my blog that is read my any banded people. If you want to know further feedback the link is below,

p.s.... please post your comments!! please read my previous post... need your help :0)


samib85 said...

i'm going to read that article tomorrow and also write to the editor- however i will not be paying for the silly magazine. i'll borrow it off my 18 year old cousin whom i believe buys it every month- after all, she is in their demographic and as you have so aptly poibted out bridget anyone with half a brain wouldn't read the shit they print anyway. well not anyone with the band- we've all made an INFORMED decision.. something that hournalist of cleo has obviously never heard of. she probably wrote that article in between colour coding her tampons with her clutch for the friday night formal party she's covering for the next issue. it's royally pissed me off too-
let the war begin, bandits unite !!
Sami Xx

samib85 said...

oh and um guaranteed she's a self righteous size 6 who gained the position at the magazine on the length of her legs rather than her actual IQ. Stupid bitch.

Melanie said...

I'll email the editor with the references for the medical articles that completely reject what this writer has said - I wish journalists would do their research before that spout off crap! Mel

Melanie said...

If anyone else wants to write to the editor ther details are below:
Sarah Oakes,

Address: GPO Box 4088
Sydney NSW 2001
Phone: (02) 9282 8000

You could also email (real people not just an inbox):
Cleo Features Editor Sarah Gawthorne,

Fashion and Lifestyle Editor Jo Barry,

Donna-Marie said...

Here here Bridget Well written small minded people I say who obviously didn't talk to anyone who has had it done like you and I

Anonymous said...

Bridget ... I think you will find 'for' and 'against', 'positive' and 'negative' stories about everything in the world. This opinion is hitting a nerve cos you have another experience. Don't take offence. It's not written in a medical journal; it's just a magazine. If a reader who was considering banding read this they would be set straight by a person whose opinion really matters ... a banding surgeon. You get this when your society respects free speech!

LapBandGirl said...

While I tend to agree with Anonymouse on this one, I can tell it hit a nerve with you, and rightly so! Everyone has the right to his or her opinion and good on you for voicing yours! Who knows, perhaps this will lead to you doing an article for them on your experiences with WLS??? How exciting!!

Meanwhile, on to the more important things... your gain. My advice would be to go back to basics - cut the processed crap, and stick to natural foods - fruit, veges, yoghurt, nuts, seeds, brown rice, white meats, legumes and beans etc. Cut the salt and any extra sugar that you're taking..

Make yourself accountable on your blog by letting us know what you're eating... that might make you think twice about some of your food choices?

Much love xx

Cat McKenzie said...

Beautiful response to a very badly researched article.


Nikki said...

Hi Bridget,

Just so you know who this is, I used to be NikkiD but I have changed my Blogger account.

I understand why your upset by this article. But its not aimed at people like you or your father.

These types of articles are aimed at the people who can't be bothered try to diet or exercise and use surgery as a "Quick fix". Trust me there are alot of them out there.

Also think about this. I have never EVER seen advertisements for weight loss surgery before I moved to the US and here they play all day on all stations. It's unbelievable. It's like they are talking about buying a pair of shoes!!

I think the article was probably written to make people think twice about getting it without it being a last resort.

Think about it like this. In America the amount of people getting caesareans has more than tripled as the doctors make more money out of it and alot of women think its easier than natural childbirth.

Now someone who has had to have a C section because their baby was in distress would strongly argue about the importance of a C section wouldn't they.

Don't let it get to you. There will always be someone who's opinion will differ to yours. As long as you hold fast to you beliefs then thats all that matters!!

Wow that was a long post. I hope you understand my point.