Obesity is a disease rapidly spreading in our country as well, which has recently been described as “one of the most serious problems that human beings have faced” by world renowned physics professor Stephen Hawking, who has warned the world about it. It is estimated that 2 out of every 3 people in the world will be obese in the near future, and in our country, 20 out of every 100 people are still in the grip of obesity. Excess weight can be caused by drugs used for a disease in some people, by genetic factors some other people, and by slow functioning metabolism in some other people; but in recent years, unhealthy nutrition and sedentary lifestyle play a very important role in the increased prevalence of this disease. Superstitions are among the most important obstacles to overcome, for the elimination of obesity, the epidemic and dangerous disease of our modern age! 7 myths about obesity, a condition that shortens life expectancy by about 15 years, in comparison with people in the normal weight range, and that leads to many dangerous diseases from cancer to diabetes:

An anti-obesity vaccine will be invented soon

Delaying the treatment of the obesity, thinking that an anti-obesity vaccine will be invented soon, increases the danger because contrary to popular belief, obesity develops not due to just one reason, but also many reasons. A magical treatment of obesity in the form of vaccine or medication etc. will not be available in the near future. On the other hand, weight loss achieved with diets eventually results in weight regain in 95% of cases. Scientific studies show that only 1.6% of the total body weight can be lost in 10 years with exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. The failure of medical treatments is among the primary reasons for why bariatric surgery has become one of the most common surgical procedures in developed countries.

Excess weight is harmful

Contrary to popular belief, health is affected not only by excess weight but also by its hormonal effects. These hormonal effects lead to many diseases from diabetes to hypertension, and from fatty liver to gout, as well as increased risk of cancer. Contrary to popular belief, bariatric surgery does not act by just enabling patients to lose weight. After bariatric surgery, before patients do not lose weight, comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension are improved with hormonal effects. Thanks to bariatric surgery, the stomach and intestines have been revealed to be hormonal organs. In consequence of the revelation of such hormonal effects, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has changed its name to the American Society for Metabolic &Bariatric Surgery after 2007.

Bariatric surgery kills

Obesity surgeries do not pose any extra danger compared to dangers of any other surgical procedure. However, obesity surgeries can lead to death in recent years because they are performed too often by surgeons not experienced in this field, and in hospitals without the necessary infrastructure. In fact, there is a consensus that bariatric surgery is not more risky than cholecystotomy, when performed by an experienced physician and in a fully equipped center. In addition, these are treatment procedures that prolong life by about 10 years, and keep morbidly obese patients away from many surgical operations such as coronary bypass and knee prosthesis operations in the future.

The job ends with surgery

The opinion that “this is just a surgical operation” is wrong and dangerous! Obesity is a disease that does not end with only surgical treatment, and requires a multidisciplinary approach. The job does not end with surgery. Quite the contrary, it just starts with it. Ensuring the patient to be followed up by the dietitian after surgery is as important as surgery. Group therapies also contribute to the patient’s care in terms of ‘freeing the mind’ in the post-operative period. In other words, a rehabilitation process is required in the process of gaining a new life with the awareness of emotional eating disorders, dietary habits, and foods. The amount of appetite-stimulating hormone ‘ghrelin’ decreases after surgery due to the removal of the stomach. This results in suppressed appetite. The constant feeling of satiety caused by the reduced stomach volume paves the way for the patient to improve his/her eating disorders

It is adequate to take vitamin for just a certain period of time

Taking vitamins and minerals after surgery varies depending on the type of bariatric surgery. For example, sleeve gastrectomy is the surgical procedure in which vitamin deficiency is most rare. Patients should definitely take the vitamins and minerals specified by their physicians. Moreover, they need to take them regularly throughout their life. The opinion that “it is adequate to take vitamin for just a certain period of time” is wrong.

I will not regain weight after surgery

Surgery is not a magic wand. 20% of patients can regain weight after bariatric surgery; and even 2-3% of them can reach their old weight again and need a second surgery. Therefore, the opinion that a patient will not regain weight after surgery is not realistic. The patient should definitely make the required changes in his/her daily life habits after surgery. This is why high success rates are achieved by those who have undergone surgery at medical centers cooperating with rehabilitation and support groups after bariatric surgery.

It will destroy my pleasure of eating

Prof. Dr. Ahmet Turkcapar says “The opinion that the person will experience tormenting days and will lose his/her pleasure of eating after bariatric surgery is wrong. It will be easier to avoid overeating, without having difficulty as in diets, thanks to hormonal changes, decreased interest in foods, decreased appetite, and a stronger feeling of satiety that is achievable with the reduced stomach volume.”