Weight a Minute

A few months ago, Medicare said it would pay for certain types of weight-loss surgery. Now, AHRQ, says weight a minute.

The agency reports that the latest magic bullet for obesity, bariatric surgery, is fraught with dangerous side effects affecting almost 40 percent of patients who undergo it.

From Scarsdale to North Beach, from Jenny Craig to Dr. Atkins, the quest for easy weight loss consumes Americans almost as much as Americans consume. But there is no other solution to permanent weight loss than moderating your diet and increasing your exercise.

Look no further than USA Today to find out why it is so hard. It reports half of us are trying to lose weight but only one-quarter of that group monitors their caloric intake and do enough exercise.

To paraphrase that obnoxious prostate drug commercial, this isn’t an ongoing problem; it’s a growing problem. And it will not go away just by high doses of will power. It will take a concerted policy effort to weigh the benefits accruing to public health against the benefits accruing to the sugar, fast-food and snack industries.

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