May Obesity in the News

Published in May 2013 Issue             

This month, news of N.J. Governor Chris Christie’s gastric band surgery topped the headlines on obesity. Read our full story on coverage of Governor Christie’s surgery here. Here are some other news items you may be interested in:

Coke CEO Launches "Calorie Count Transparency" Campaign to Fight Obesity (CBS News, Wall Street Journal)

Coca-Cola has announced a global initiative to combat obesity by offering low- and no-calorie drinks in every market in the world and putting calorie counts on the front of all drinks. Additionally, the company will stop marketing to children under 12 worldwide, and will work to encourage more physical activity programs in each country it operates in.

Stapling Bariatric Surgery Outcomes Better at High-Volume Hospitals (Healio)

ASMBS President-Elect Ninh T. Nguyen, MD, was one of the researchers involved in a study presented at SAGES  in Baltimore. The study found morbidity and mortality from bariatric surgery is significantly higher at low-volume hospitals than  high-volume facilities. Further analysis comparing those hospitals that were ACS/ASMBS centers of excellence (COE) verses non-COE facilities showed in-hospital mortality was significantly higher among non-COE hospitals (0.06% vs. 0.22% non-COE facilities), however the rate of serious complications was significantly lower (5.7% vs. 4.8%).

After Gastric Surgery, Congressman is Reed Thin (The Buffalo News)

NY Congressman Tom Reed,  had gastric bypass surgery, and discussed his decision days after N.J. Governor Chris Christie revealed he had gastric band surgery. Reed said he has lost 70 pounds and his Type 2 diabetes “disappeared” following the procedure.

Are Doctors Nicer to Thinner Patients? (New York Times, Huffington Post)

Researchers at Johns Hopkins published a study in Obesity that found thin patients are treated with more warmth and empathy than those people who are overweight or have obesity. The researchers examined transcripts of patients and doctors during office visits, and found patients, regardless of weight, were treated about the same, but doctors “seemed just a bit nicer to their normal-weight patients.”

When the Doctor is Overweight (NYTimes Well Blog)

In a NYTimes Well Blog, leading physicians, including ASMBS member and bariatric surgeon and gastric band patient, George Fielding, MD, discussed the results of a study showing overweight doctors are seen as less credible than “normal weight” doctors. The study also found patients are less likely to follow their medical advice. The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity.