A Unique Resource for Treating Eating Disorders and Body Dissatisfaction
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Archive for October, 2011

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by Dr. Deah on Oct.06, 2011, under Tasty Morsels: by Dr. Deah Schwartz


There are many terms for it; I choose to say that I am a reformed dieter. This means I no longer embark on diets or join programs designed for weight loss.  My reasons for this are many and my decision making process may be helpful to some; so from time to time I write about those aspects of my personal journey in my blog, Tasty Morsels.

But today I am writing about something else. 

As I review my futile quest to find the perfect weight loss technique, I see a road littered with detritus from countless attempts at a variety of programs.  Some more renown than others, I have left in my wake a trail of Jenny Craig bar graphs, Weight Watchers Lifetime key rings, and Atkin’s dip sticks; all tangible proof of my countless endeavors to lose weight in order to be happy.

There are many common themes embedded in each pit stop on my way to “diet cessation” but one of the most irritating is how I perceived my successes and failures.  Each time I lost weight, I sang the praises of the diet. “I love the South Beach; Grapefruits are the shot, me and Jenny forever!”  And each time I inevitably gained the weight back, I would wail the dirge of self-hate, “I am a failure.”

All of the credit went to someone else and all of the blame went to me.

It is a double standard I can no longer accept.

Writing about low self-esteem as a component of body dissatisfaction and serial dieting is nothing new. There are few, if any, Weary Weight Warriors who hate their body AND have a healthy self-esteem.  Body dissatisfaction is not created in a vacuum and is usually the result of someone being told that something is wrong with them.  If someone feels they need to lose weight in order to be loved by someone else, they are most likely going to feel unworthy in other arenas as well.

Because the motivation to lose weight is usually extrinsically foisted upon us and then externally reinforced by the diet industry selling the solution, we can understand the ease with which we give credit to the Stillmans and the Jennys. We feel flawed so how can it NOT be our fault if we can’t fix the problem by using these undisputed efficacious diets?  Placing the blame on ourselves instead of on the failure of the diet is part of the cycle of self hate that is inherent in using restrictive dieting as a solution to weight management, eating disorders and fighting the so-called war against obesity.  The proponents of diet programs are counting on the self-hate that they have helped to create, to fuel our appetites for trying the latest fad diet and Jennifer Hudson-esque intervention.

Breaking the self hate cycle is no easy task.  Ask any fellow salmon swimming upstream and the ones that make it will tell you it takes perseverance and motivation.  But the motivation MUST be intrinsic.  The choice to engage in a health based lifestyle instead of a weight based one must start from within and be fueled from within; not to please anyone else, not to live up to someone else’s expectation and NOT to be measured by any scale or tape measure.  And guess what? Because there is no double standard, the credit and kudos for maintaining these lifestyle changes may just be able to swim, with abandon, in a new direction…inward.

So lose the double standard and gain some self esteem.

You’ll love yourself for it!

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S(lap) H(b)ands

by Dr. Deah on Oct.02, 2011, under Events, Tasty Morsels: by Dr. Deah Schwartz

Those of you that read Dr. Deah’s Tasty Morsels know that I have an enormous amount of rage about the Lap Band(r).  My reasons are both personal and professional.  A close relative of mine had the lap band procedure and it was, by all statistical measurements, unsuccessful. The fall out from the procedure was toxic both physically and emotionally for her and those around her.  In my post, WWJD, I discuss the acne-like proliferation of the 1800GETTHIN billboards and how misleading they are.  The radio and billboard ads give the impression that a person can zip in and zip out of lap band surgery…(what’s next…drive thru lap bands?) and a person’s life with be miraculously transformed from fat, lonely, enslaved, and miserable to skinny, happy, and free.

If this pseudo approach to health and well being offends you at all, you may be interested in two opportunities to voice your dissent that were passed on to me by Marilyn Wann, author of FATSO?

The first is a petition created by Katie Koumatos California Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 9 to sign legislation that includes stricter accreditation requirements for the sort of clinics that do lap band surgery.
While I am eager for total recall of these devices, until then, it seems useful and lifesaving to make it more difficult for clinics that fail one accrediting agency’s standards to skip to another rather than improve.

The second is to send a letter to the billboard company that carries the ad.  Here is the letter that Marilyn sent to:  [email protected]

Hello, Ms. McGuire:
I am writing to ask that you reconsider the advisability of offering advertising space to 1-800-GET-THIN(TM).
The Los Angeles Times reports deaths and serious complications that people have suffered after these surgeries.
Several lawsuits are now in process, alleging false advertising claims.
For example:
- http://www.1800getthinclassaction.com/lawsuit-update
- http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-get-thin-lawsuit-20110907,0,4090876.story
On Dec. 7, 2024, Los Angeles Public Health Department Director Jonathon Fielding, MD, asked the FDA to investigate the 1-800-GET-THIN(TM) advertising…
“The LAP-BAND(R) weight loss procedure is marketed directly to consumers in Los Angeles County through billboards, bus placards, and direct mail with slogans such as ‘Diets fail! The LAP-BAND(R) works!’ These ads fail to provide the relevant warnings, precautions, side effects, and contraindications related to the procedure…Given the harms of medical complications and unrealistic expectations resulting from the misleading promotion of this product, I strongly recommend that FDA to take the necessary steps to ensure that 1-800-GET-THIN(TM)
Weight Loss Centers’ LAP-BAND(R) promotion does not constitute misbranding of a restricted device.”
- http://zev.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/lapband-letter.pdf

The same concerns would apply to this advertising campaign in San Francisco County and in the Bay Area.
This month, BNET contributor and former Adweek managing editor Jim Edwards posted an opinion piece called, “Lap-Band Deaths Pile Up As Sales Decline,” in which he called Allergan’s lap band device “a product discontinuation waiting to happen.”
- http://www.bnet.com/blog/drug-business/lap-band-deaths-pile-up-as-sales-decline/9600?tag=fd-river14#ixzz1XR44dAWU
Medical research questions the safety and efficacy of lap band surgery.
A European study published in July, 2011, found that 50% of people who get lap band must later have it removed.
- http://archsurg.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/146/7/807
One of the few longterm follow-up studies on lap band outcomes, published in 2006, found that 33% of people had serious complications and 22% had problems requiring further surgery. Researchers wrote that lap band “should no longer be considered as the procedure of choice for obesity.”
- http://www.springerlink.com/content/w563743386t13181/
I understand that MTA advertising policy requires no advertisement be “false, misleading or deceptive.”
I hope you will reconsider whether 1-800-GET-THIN(TM) advertising meets your requirements.
Since 2000, San Francisco has included height and weight in the list of characteristics protected from discrimination here. It would be tragic if people in San Francisco were swayed by false, misleading, or deceptive advertising to undertake medical treatments that risk serious complications and even death, in the hope of escaping weight discrimination.
Thank you,
Marilyn Wann

No matter what you may think about the detrimental health effects of the widely publicized “obesity crisis” I hope we can find some common ground and agree that the quick dubious fix of the Lap Band is not the way to address eating disorders or what may be viewed as an unhealthy weight.

Take some time and Slap the Hand of the people promoting the Lap Band. 

Thank you for considering my request!

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