Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Apologies from Canada

The New York Times is reporting the latest in "get thin quick" schemes: the intragastric balloon, which is inserted into the stomach via the oesophagus and then filled with liquid. Read about it here. By taking up room in the stomach, the balloon gives patients a feeling of satiety, thus causing them to eat less and lose weight.

Of course, the safety of this procedure--which, to be fair to Canada, is performed in Europe, South America and elsewhere in the world, though not yet in the States--is questionable. A ruptured balloon getting stuck in the intestines is not my idea of a fun afternoon. Like other weight-loss procedures, there is a non-negligible chance of death involved.

Of course, the cherry on the sundae is the comments section that follows the article. Like the Sunday brunch buffet at our local pub, it is full of the same old-same old:

-"cut out soft drinks and red meat like I did and you'll easily lose scads of weight";
-"eat less, move more";
-"stop being a glutton";
-etc. etc.

There are a few lone voices in the wilderness pointing out how difficult it is to lose, and more importantly, to keep off the weight, but as usual, they are shouted down by the nightmare on ELMM (eat less-move more) street people.

Please accept my personal apologies from Canada for this latest assault on common sense and body diversity.


  1. dude. a balloon. in the stomach. That doesn't sound like a good idea at all.

  2. o. come on. a balloon! in the stomach! wheeeee! it's such an obvious and brilliant solution!<--sarcasm

  3. Perhaps the greatest concern is the assumption that all individuals who qualify by their BMI standards should have an invasive procedure or should even "have"to lose weight--regardless of their weight or medical history! The latest hype on gastric bypass curing diabetes is even worse--that's now being viewed as the "solution" to the diabetes problem--not changing behaviors and intake, but limiting the stomach to the size of an egg!