Friday, November 4, 2016

Setting a Good Example

We know this won't exactly come as a big shock to you, but one thing we've noticed at Dr. Feiz & Associates is that parents are only human. Shocking, yes, we know.

The thing is most parents who are severely obese are extremely concerned, and for good reason, about the possibility that their children might also run into weight issues as they get older. Without going too deep into the whole nature vs. nurture questions, it's clear that weight issues really do run in families for reasons that are probably both genetic and environmental. It's also very likely that a parent's good example can rub off on a child, as a recent Washington University study found when it looked at parent's weight loss and some corresponding weight loss in their adolescent offspring.

Which brings us back to that whole matter of parents being only human. We're learning more and more that the reason bariatric surgery is necessary for some many people boils down to one fact. It's not that traditional diet and exercise solutions don't work -- they do. It's just that, largely because of hormonal and also some metabolic factors, it's just so incredibly difficult to sustain a large weight loss over time that very, very few people are able to do it. It's as if the body is doing everything it can to make losing large amounts of weight into a full time job that most people simply find impossible.

The good news is that, like most illnesses, obesity is a lot easier to prevent that it is to cure. It's possible that parents really can help to prevent severe obesity in their children by setting an example, eating a great deal less and losing weight permanently as as result. However, since it's too late for prevention for the parents, they're likely to need the help of a procedure such as a sleeve gastrectomy  to really be able to do things right.

Parents should also realize that they are sending a pretty positive message by getting a procedure. Their kids will learn it's by no means "the easy way out" -- it's more like the only way out -- and they'll admire their ability to do what needs to be done to make a positive change. Then, they'll see the change in the parents actions that result from the procedure...and we know that all the good advice in the world is nothing compared to the power of a good example.

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