November 26, 2010-present weight loss

2012 weight loss

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blue Skies- Smiling at Me

Happy Tuesday bloggers... it is certainly a happy Tuesday for me.  Please stop reading for a second or two, look up at my ticker, and then come back here.  What do you see?  I am under 100 lbs from goal as of today!  Yes, 100 lbs is still a LONG way away.  I know, I know.  Many of you had under 100 lbs to lose from your pre-surgery weights.  Still, finally being in the double digits is a HUGE scale victory.  Very exciting:)
I read a CNN article yesterday and was surprised by the title: Bariatric surgery doesn't help obese live longer, study says.  The study, published in JAMA, seems very strange to me.  First, in only dealt with gastric bypass in men.  Second, all of these men were 'older'... the study was conducted at Veterans Affairs centers after all.  So now, they take really fat old guys, perform gastric bypass and learn that these guys don't have reduced mortality rates several years in.  No sh*t!  I guess the only way to address mortality rates in the short term is by dealing with an older demographic to begin with, but I still find the study, and the headline, to be misleading.  Let's see how the mortality rates would look after performing bariatric surgery on severely obese patients in their 30s or 40s (or even in their 20s).  Let's see how this would look if medical intervention meant that previously obese patients no longer suffered from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes for most of their adult lives.  The men in the study had probably been dealing with the side effects of obesity for decades, and that had taken a serious toll on their bodies.  I'm no doctor, but this study is just so limited that I am not surprised by the outcome at all.  Any thoughts?
Today is the day I will start swimming again.  I've been so afraid of infection that I haven't been in the pool since April.  I didn't even swim in Portugal, neither for exercise nor for pleasure.  I am finally healed and really just have to take the plunge.  Off to the pool. 


Melissa Wolf said...

I completely agree with your analysis of that study, Nora. Seems very skewed to me too. Hurray for swimming and for your exciting scale victory!! p.s. Did I add you to my blog readership yet? I'll go check and make sure.

Liz said...

Double digits is awesome! You are doing great :)

Get your swim on!

MandaPanda said...

I think it's always important to look at WHO is funding the study. This was done through Veterans Affairs? My guess it's the government (specifically the VA) who doesn't want to cover gastic bypass for their patients. So they have study saying it doesn't help so they don't have to pay for it. Just a theory.

Congrats on under 100! You've already come so so far!

Catherine55 said...

Too true on the survey! And, that is so SO awesome about being under 100 from your goal! You are doing AMAZINGLY!! And, I'm psyched for you on the swimming.

(Looks like Blogger might actually let me post this...)

Lee Ann said...

You are doing great Nora.

Here's my take on the article. I figure the vast majority of patients at the VA *are* old men, so they aren't necessarily trying to figure out ways to deny our veterans health care. That is largely their patient base. SO, with that said, I think this is a perfect example of why journalists aren't the most qualified people to be reporting on what JAMA is publishing. The title of the article is totally misleading. The author's analysis of the data is severly lacking.

My guess is that the point of the study is to examine if bariatric surgery in the aging population will add years to their life. I don't think the results are necessarily makes me wonder---if you wait til that average age (50s-60s) perhaps too much damage has already been done? I mean, I hope not. But I think it's worth investigating the topic further. I don't think an insurance company would use that data to deny coverage, as other studies have proven a cost-benefit relationship when diabetes is prevented or reversed, etc. So even if the quantity of a person's life is not greater, bariatric surgery still has merit in that it can reverse or decrease other problems (diabetes, back pain, sleep apnea, hypertension, etc). And after being denied myself--trust me, I'm not trying to look like a fan of insurance companies.

As far as studying whether bariatric surgery extends the life of people in their 20s, 30s, 40's, those studies have already been done and without question---overall, bariatric surgery increases both the quality and the quantity of life.

Christine said...

Ha ha, maybe the chlorine in the pool will ensure that no infection occurs!

Thanks for posting the study. I find all those medical studies to be very interesting. I agree, it seems like their sampling size was extremely limited, and they are making broad suggestions a little too loosely. The media doesn't help when they skew results in such a way.


Sarah G said...


Bandita Senorita said...

That's wonderful about you getting below the 100 mark. And I hope you had fun swimming!!!