NYT: Obesity Surgery May Become Option for Many More

Weight-loss surgery, once a last resort for extremely overweight people, may soon become an option for those who are less heavy.
An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration will consider on Friday a request by Allergan, the pharmaceutical company, to significantly lower how obese someone must be to qualify for surgery using the company’s Lap-Band device, which restricts intake to the stomach.
read more

Family sues feds for $15M after complications from bariatric bypass surgery kill 550 lb. cab driver

The family of a Manhattan cabbie who died from complications of weight-loss surgery he needed after tipping the scales at 550 pounds is suing the feds for $15 million.
Warren Jupiter, a father of three from Chelsea, underwent bariatric bypass surgery at the Manhattan VA hospital in April 2003 after health problems linked to obesity put his life at risk.
“He was looking forward to being thin,” his widow, Barbara Jupiter, testified last week in Brooklyn

WLS linked to higher suicides…

Weight loss surgery undertaken by severely obese people might be linked to a higher risk of suicide in the years following the procedure, a report says, adding that the surgery is the cause of a higher suicide rate.
Weight loss surgery is increasingly being recommended for people with severe obesity, but the latest finding by The American Journal of Medicine suggests that this option may not be the best choice.
In the study, researchers followed up on Pennsylvania residents who

With insurers slow to cover obesity treatment, patients often must foot the bill

“Insurance companies say they want you to be healthy, but they won’t pay for treatment,” said Moss, who recently took a second job as a waitress to chip away at her debt. “It’s frustrating that they want you to be as sick and disabled as possible before they will help.”

More teens get unapproved weight-loss surgery

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A type of weight-loss surgery not approved for adolescents is becoming more and more common among teens in California, according to a report published today.
Most of the patients are white girls, although they make up less than half of overweight youth, researchers say.
From 2005 to 2007, they found rates of so-called gastric banding, in which a silicone band is placed around the top portion of the stomach to restrict food intake, rose five-fold. However,