Sometimes we hear questions that amuse us, but if no one asks those questions we might never have answers. I agree with the notion that all questions are good questions, and I enjoy a smile as well. With that, here are a few silly questions that bariatric patients report being asked. So silly, in fact, that they may cause you to ask, “Did they really say that?”
6 Real Questions asked of Bariatric Patients
1. “Does your stomach grow back?”
While your stomach will not grow back, you can certainly return to an unhealthy weight if you return to unhealthy habits. Lifestyle and behavioral changes after bariatric surgery must be constant. If these changes are not maintained then bariatric patients will most likely regain the weight that has been lost.
2. “Are you going to have mental health issues?”
Bariatric patients often have mental health issues, according to a MedPage Today article. However, the surgery is not a cause. Patients tend to have depression and binge eating disorder as the two most common mental health issues prior to bariatric surgery. Read, “Passing the Bariatric Psych Evaluation.”
3. “I don’t understand why you couldn’t just have some willpower…?”
The battle with obesity has little to do with willpower. The American Medical Association recently classified obesity as a disease. Suggesting someone exercise willpower to rid themselves of obesity is about the same as saying someone should will away measles.
4. “Are you doing this just to look better?”
Cosmetics are not criteria for bariatric surgery. The Mayo Clinic cites among the guidelines to qualify for bariatric surgery are a body mass index of 40 or higher or a BMI of 35 or more coupled with a serious weight-related condition such as diabetes or hypertension. Bariatric patients usually seek the surgery because of health issues.
5. “Did you try diet and exercise first?”
Most bariatric patients have tried diet and exercise multiple times before deciding on surgery. In fact, one of the mandatory criteria to qualify for bariatric surgery is failed attempts to lose weight through diet and exercise.
6. “Why don’t you just eat an apple a day for a month…?”
Some tips for successfully losing weight include eating a high protein breakfast, avoiding sugary drinks, drinking water a half hour before meals, eating weight loss friendly foods, and avoiding processed foods. Starvation by apple is not a viable tip. Read, “4 Strategies for Weight Loss Surgery Success.”
While these questions might seem silly to bariatric patients, we’d do best to practice patience with those family and friends unfamiliar with bariatrics. Although the answers to their questions may be obvious to us, it is to the credit of those asking that they are interested and concerned enough to ask in the first place. Read our sound advice for handling these sorts of comments after bariatrics, “Coping Skills after Weight Loss Surgery.”
If you are interested in an extended dialogue on this subject matter check out the conversation on the BariatricPal online community.
In good health,
Content is the opinion of the author and does not constitute or is a replacement for medical advice.
Photo by Stuart Miles @freedigital photos.net