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Stigmas and Labels Placed on the Morbidly Overweight

While being morbidly overweight can have a negative impact on physical health, the stigmas and labels associated with this health condition can also have a dramatic effect on emotional well-being. Overweight people must endure the stereotypes associated with their body type while still trying to find the right obesity solution for them.

Lack of Discipline?

Some of the many stigmas and labels suffered by overweight people include the idea that they lack the discipline to lose weight. According to people who believe in this stereotype, if a person with a weight problem were simply to exercise and diet properly, they would lose weight and feel better.

For some obese people, this is simply not true. Diet and exercise help, but for many, the problem is much bigger. Sometimes weight loss surgery, such as a Lap Band, may be the only option for success.

Obese People Are Not Lazy

Scientists have recently begun to discover what many overweight people have known for years. Being overweight isn't simply a lifestyle choice. It's also about genetics. If your parents struggled with their weight, you may also need to consider weight loss surgery in addition to diet and exercise.

One of the labels assigned to overweight individuals is the word "lazy". This is not only unkind; it is simply untrue. Imagine the extra weight obese people must carry around with them on a daily basis: 50 pounds, 100 pounds, sometimes even more. When you are significantly overweight, leaping out of bed to take a jog is just not an option.

Obese People Are Not Gluttons

Another stereotype about the overweight is that they are constantly downing milkshakes, pizza, chocolate, hamburgers, and other junk food. If these people stopped eating high fat food, the faulty logic goes, they would lose the weight. Obviously, if the solution were that simple, there wouldn't be any obese people out there. After all, no one wants to be overweight.

We are now learning that appetite is a difficult thing to control and that everyone processes fat differently. For those who have undergone minimally invasive weight loss surgery like getting a lapband, controlling appetite is no longer the roadblock to weight loss that it once was.

The Vicious Circle

For many, weight loss is a vicious circle. You can't get adequate exercise because you are carrying around a lot of excess weight. Even just getting out of bed is exhausting. So since you can't get exercise, you gain more weight, thereby making it even less likely that you'll be able to get exercise. It goes on from there.

The same is true for diet to a certain extent. You are overweight and have low self-esteem. You feel depressed, so you eat. This causes you to put on additional weight, which sometimes makes your self-esteem even lower. And this causes you to eat more. The cycle continues, and you gain more and more weight.

Breaking the Cycle

Breaking the cycle of morbid obesity is not easy. Frequently, people struggle with this issue for their entire lives, constantly feeling as if they are failing. For many overweight people, weight loss is not simply a matter of discipline, diet, and exercise. It's a medical condition that needs a medical solution.

There are two primary weight loss surgery options. The first is gastric bypass. This option is major surgery and extremely invasive. This difficult-to-reverse and complicated surgery results in major weight loss, but it also comes with a long list of potential complications. In fact, 23% of gastric bypass patients have complications.

Another alternative weight loss surgery is a Lap Band. This less-invasive option also reduces the amount of food a person can take in, but it is fully reversible and result is far fewer complications. Weight loss with a Lap Band is more gradual than with gastric bypass, but this helps the patient change his or her lifestyle as well as lose weight.


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