Today I was chatting with some friends and someone brought up that some media column writer said you didn't have to put mayonnaise in the fridge. Mayonnaise has eggs in it for one and in my experience, gets rancid fast if not refrigerated. Everyone in the discussion did feel that it _should_ be refrigerated and since a media person said it didn't have to be, everyone seemed to feel that must be right.
Media is seldom if ever right. If they are not selling something, they often do poor research (this is partially because of tight deadlines which precludes doing careful research so they often look up the subject in other media articles which are just as poorly researched - a case of the blind leading the blind?). But the fact remains that too many people actually believe what the media prints regardless of how "over the top" it is!
Case in question. Here is a paragraph I found in one of the blog searches:
A Gastric Bypass Really Can Extend Your Life
If you are contemplating having a gastric bypass then a recent US study might just help you to make up your mind. The study looked at no fewer than 16,000 obese people and found that when people in the study group opted for gastric bypass surgery their long-term mortality rate dropped by as much as 40%. This should not really be a surprise since weight loss surgery also cures, or at least improves, a host of other conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes and the change in diet and increase in exercise which follows surgery has got to be a good thing. Nevertheless, it is always nice to see what we already know put down in black and white as confirmation.
Of course the study is not cited and it all sounds good - if you don't think about it. A gastric bypass provides for the stomach to be cut into two pieces - one tiny piece which becomes the "pouch" and the rest of it (about 90 percent or more) which is bypassed along with the attached first segment of small bowel. The bowel is cut into pieces and rearranged in a way very different from the way nature made it. All this causes a quick weight loss during the first year or so and lifelong problems including vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis, anemia, protein deficiencies and much more.
As Dr Terry Simpson put it:
***The RNY [gastric bypass] trades one disease for another: it trades obesity for malabsorption. By re-arranging your guts you sometimes have severe side effects, and can have long-term problems such as iron deficiency anemia, calcium deficiency leading to osteoporosis. (Dr Terry Simpson, MD, WLS surgeon)So how would this extend your life? Well, the idea here is that fatness is so deadly that any way to slim down regardless of unhealthy it is, is better than being fat. But there are no real studies which prove fatness in itself is deadly! And when they mention all these ills which are supposedly exacerbated by fat, does anyone question that slim people have the same ills i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes etc? I think the problem is people don't question something they read in the media. And that is where the problem starts.
But let's take a closer look at the study they referred to. It was one led by a WLS surgeon, Dr David Flum and he found in the study (which the media happily ignores) that the first month after a gastric bypass, 2 percent die and that another 5-7 percent of patients die within the first year (these were older patients so had bodies less tolerant to the extreme internal rearrangement done in the gastric bypass).
So how does he conclude that gastric bypass extends life? He compared these 16000 healthy fat people in for gastric bypass to 2000 seriously ill fat people in the hospital for other reasons and observed that since there were a small number of more deaths among the seriously ill fat people than the gastric bypass patients, that meant that the gastric bypass must have extended the lives of those who got it.
What he hoped the public would not realize is that had he compared the gastric bypass patients to 2000 seriously ill slim people in the hospital for other reasons, he would have also found that the healthy fat people who had gastric bypass survived better than the seriously ill slim folks. So would that mean that slim people should have a gastric bypass to "extend" their lives?
In another blog article
A nice looking couple is pictured. They are fat but not terribly so - they are both having gastric bypass surgery. The lady, it said, has high blood pressure even with being on 4 medications and the man has bad knees ("worn out from carrying all that weight").
Here's another which should be questioned. Most of the people I know with really bad knees are not fat. Some have never been fat in their lives - so how did their knees get bad without the "great weight" weighing down on them? And if a person's blood pressure is that high with 4 meds, did they really think a gastric bypass is going to bring it down that much? Again I know several slim people with very high blood pressure. The bottom line is, will introducing a surgical disease into their digestive tract make their health better? Perhaps or perhaps not - it all depends on whether their present comorbidities are greater than the comorbidities added by the bypass. But the media tells us that the bypass is some kind of magic bullet which fixes all ills and no one questions this and that is what is of concern.
***** "By doing this surgery, you're creating a medical disease in the body. Before you expose someone to that risk, you have to be absolutely sure that you are treating an illness which is equal to or greater than the one you are creating."
(Dr Edward Livingston, bariatric surgeon in Self Magazine, 4-2001) *****
Today I saw an ad for something about diabetes featuring as a poster kid, Randy Jackson. I did a double take. Jackson had a gastric bypass a year or two ago and that was supposed to have cured his diabetes (if you believe what the media tells us). I read the ad carefully. It said he was taking less diabetes meds now after his bypass but that is a totally different story than his diabetes getting "cured".
Fact remains, we are suffering from many old age diseases including worn out knees and high blood pressure because now we are living to the age where people start wearing out, fat or slim.
I commented on the widespread practice of smoking in Indonesia. "Doesn't that shorten their lifespan," I asked my hubby. He answered, "They don't live long enough to die from the repercussions of smoking."
I have known countless people who had gastric bypass to fix their knees only to find that the malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies made things worse if anything.
We need to start questioning seriously what we read in the media. If we follow their advice to not refrigerate our mayonnaise, we might get an upset stomach. But if we follow their advice to get a gastric bypass, the repercussions can be much more devastating.