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FDA Panel recommends lowering BMI requirements for lap band

A few days ago, AndyJo wrote a piece on a recent attempt to lower the FDA's BMI requirement for lapbands.

Well, it succeeded (thanks for the tip-off, AndyJo). The New York Times has published an article: Panel Votes to Expand Surgery for Less Obese.

Now, lapbands are likely to be approved for people with BMIs of 35-40 who have no health problems and for people with BMIs between 30 and 35 who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or other health problems that correlate to high BMIs. From the NYT story:

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week showed that women with a B.M.I. of 30 to 35 had a 44 percent higher risk of death than women of normal weight, which is a B.M.I. under 25.

(Of course, this is the data dredge discussed in the last BFB post.)

Now men and women with BMIs under 40 may have a new way to increase their risk of death - the lapband!

Now they're saying that average BMIs lead to early death | Support Your Local Badass Fatass

D-Man's picture
December 7th, 2010 | Link | WAT. WHAAAAAT?!


WHAAAAAT?! Jawdropping!


Lillian's picture
December 7th, 2010 | Link | As someone close to 30 BMI,

As someone close to 30 BMI, it terrifies me. For the lower heights, there is only 30 pounds difference between normal weight and obese. Trust me that isn't much. A family crisis or bout of sickness and it's gone. I'll gain it back after the crisis is through but that is the point. What if I didn't have those pounds? What if I lost 60 pounds with this surgery and was on the borderline of being underweight as a result?

There is such an obsession with being thin that people are likely to slouch and wear heavy clothes to make the cut-off. The people in FDA neglect that underweight people have a higher mortality than even the most obese. A person gets the lap band and succeeds lower their weight and dies because they no longer than the weight to fight illness.

I listened to a number of social scientists talk this morning. The big reason we live longer than people from the early twentieth century is nutrition. This surgery takes that advantage away. I wouldn't be surprised if this surgery causes the people that are successful at losing weight to die at a much younger age. It would do the exact opposite that the surgery is being touted for.

I truly people it will kill people, not because it doesn't work but because it does.

DeeLeigh's picture
December 7th, 2010 | Link | The FDA can be contacted

The FDA can be contacted at:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20993

1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)

The press has been reporting on it as if it's fairly final and binding, but you're right Debra. That's not necessarily the case. If anyone has the time to sort out the real meaning of the committee ruling; what authority it has and where it will lead, that would be great. Otherwise, I'll look into it later.

Viola's picture
December 7th, 2010 | Link | If death rates go up in the

If death rates go up in the 30-40 BMI set, will that take some of the pressure off of us who are way over that? No, I guess not.

AndyJo's picture
December 7th, 2010 | Link | Adding insult to injury...

These clowns also backed approval of a diet pill today.

I have no words left.

--Andy Jo--

BigLiberty's picture
December 9th, 2010 | Link | Considering how specious the

Considering how specious the reasons are for the FDA advisory panel to come to this conclusion (and their recent decision to approve the weight loss drug Contrave), it only reinforces my suspicion that FDA policy on obesity is becoming increasingly eugenicist.

This isn't about improving the health of the population - this is about exterminating fat people. It might not be an outright stated policy objective, but what can one conclude when weight loss drugs are approved not because they work but because they're a marketing device to spur the creation of other weight loss drugs, and the abuse of healthy organs is being allowed for people with no historical early risk of mortality (minus one extremely recent study)?

I think the FDA is gearing up to be a propagandic arm against obesity for some reason. Or perhaps it will be the tool to excise the obese from the population. I'm not sure; could it be the dying gasp of ineffectual public policy funded and lobbied by the likes of anti-obesity RWJF and other similar groups with strong ties to state officials and institutions? Or rather than a last gasp is it the sign that the "head has come off" any state-funded rigor in the anti-obesity field, replaced wholly by interest groups? (not that I think state-funded rigor is an entirely consistent phrase, but we might disagree on that point)

Regardless, this is further evidence the Moral Panic has not yet run its course.

richie79's picture
December 15th, 2010 | Link | So it would seem that the

So it would seem that the MSM's cheerleading for WLS as the 'miracle bullet' has paid off. I am disgusted by this decision and can only concur with BL's suspicion that the medical establishment have declared an all-out war of elimination on fat people, using WLS as their blunderbuss weapon of choice.

And it seems to be working. Just the other day I was commenting to my wife on the almost complete disappearance over the last couple of years of people in the higher weight ranges from public places; how I suspected shame, hate and the very real fear of verbal or physical assault might have played a part but that I suspected the main factor was a 500% annual increase in the number of bariatric surgeries carried out by our local hospital.

A plump, but by no means 'supersize' acquaintance of my wife's recently announced that she'd been approved for the full bypass to lose around 50lb of 'baby weight'. And on a follow-up trip to the weight center (which carried out my wife's operation several years ago) during our recent time in the US, I spotted a couple of young girls, aged eight or nine max and no 'bigger' than several of my classmates 20 years ago, in the waiting room presumably being assessed for the surgery.

For me these (admittedly anecdotal) examples completely dispel the claim, constantly promoted within media reporting of the surgery, that this is an extreme medical solution aimed at those whose potential future healthcare costs will allegedly outweigh those of the surgery and follow up. This is increasingly being sold and viewed as a quick-fix, essentially cosmetic procedure, and I hope I live to see some of the surgeons currently profiting handsomely from butchering those who just five years ago they'd have run a mile from held accountable and brought to book in years to come.

"What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right" - Albert Einstein

Bilt4Cmfrt's picture
December 15th, 2010 | Link | Back from the Deep & Dark.

Back from the Deep & Dark.

Two words for this farce; Cosmetic Surgery. Barf!

I'm just waiting for some legal Loophole Ferret to figure out some way to get the round peg of WLS to fit into that particular square hole of elective surgery and then well see things start to get really ludicrous.

This? Almost inevitable. There is FAR too much money to be made off of this Moral Panic for it NOT to be. And money buys legislation. So be on the look-out for legal wrangling from bariatric medicine regarding WLS solutions for getting rid of that stubborn 10-20 Lbs.

As far as the age decrease, I'm sure the bariatric community is looking to the lack of life experience to smooth over any discomfiture their new experimental subjects might feel after getting chopped or blocked. If your too young to know what NOT feeling like your going to throw up every time you eat is like, or actually doing it after one or two tablespoons too much, then what's to complain about? If osteoporosis is the norm for your age group at 25 or 30, then not having to deal with that until your 50 or 60 is something that happened 'back in the day'

50 years ago we were doing fish-hook lobotomies on people because it was easier than trying to figure out how to untangle the knotty webs of brain chemistry and we had very little idea what schizophrenia or autism was all about. Now we've got monetary incentives to maintain ignorance or ignore warning signs. This we call 'Medical Progress'.

Learn how to Logic- Lesson #8
Fatness is NOT an indicator of moral standing.
Nor does being thin make one 'Good', 'Healthy', or even 'better'.

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