Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bariatric surgery for KIDS? Are you kidding?

Unfortunately, they aren't kidding. There are plans underway to give "free" bariatric surgery to fat kids in the UK.

Never mind that ADULTS who undergo bariatric surgery frequently suffer from nutritional deficiencies. How is a growing child's body supposed to absorb enough vitamins and minerals (and, dare I say it, calories) to develop properly when pieces of their digestive systems have been amputated or modified?

People who have illnesses that create malabsorption, such as celiac disease or Crohn's, frequently suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Why on earth would we want to induce malabsorption in anyone at all, but especially those who aren't yet done growing? I am going to say it out loud: Performing bariatric surgery on children is stupid, arrogant, and abusive. Children have no more ability to consent to a surgery of this nature than they have to consent to sex. It will change their bodies forever. It may kill them. The long term effects are, at best, unknown, and could possibly ruin their bodies permanently.

An adult fat person has the ability to consent to this surgery. Just as they can consent to breast implants, tattoos, body piercings, and a whole host of other things that have the ability to permanently change their bodies and/or lives.

Despite the hysteria, this is NOT a matter of life and death. A fat kid is not going to die before he or she reaches the age of consent (and those who claim otherwise are full of shit). If a child needs surgery to save his or her life, or reconstructive surgery for something like a cleft palate, that is a different matter. Fat is not pathological.

Maybe this is a mean thing to say, but I'm not holding back: If you are a parent, and you have your child undergo bariatric surgery, you are a sick, abusive person who should not be allowed to have children. Yet, it's the fat kids that are taken away from their parents. The epidemic we are facing is not excess fat, it's excess fear. Stop fearing the fat, start treating your fat kids like human beings.

There should be a basic human right to refuse bariatric surgery. I hope to GOD this is stopped before kids get mutilated.


vesta44 said...

I may be a cynical pessimist, but it seems to me that this is the fat-haters way of getting rid of fatties. Catch the fat kids when they can't refuse the surgery (and let everyone know how abusive their parents are for letting them get fat) and make sure that they will either die or have so many complications from bariatric surgery that they will never be able to reproduce. Easy way to get rid of the fat genes. This is just so much bullshit, it makes me see red and want to hit those idiots up side their heads with huge clue by four.

Vive42 said...

it's pretty effed up, that's all i can say.

as a former obese teen with a seriously fat-hating dad i'm just glad this surgery was practically unheard of when i was under 18.

Andee said...

You mean "a fat kid is not going to die before he or she reaches the age of consent just because he or she is fat."

That's one of the things that frosted me about Fast Food Nation, when he wrote that kids 6 to 10 are dying of heart attacks "due to their obesity" because those kids are such greedy little piggy burger-snarfers whose parents never say no to their bottomless appetites. (Zuh? How much solid food can a 6-year-old possibly have eaten in his/her lifetime?)

No, actually, dude, if you read the fine print, what the study you cited actually said was that kids that age who died of heart attacks had heart disease associated with being fat. Associated with =/= caused by. I want to know what kind of sneakers that guy wears, because obviously you need to avoid that brand if you don't want to write stupid books.

And yeah, stomach amputation for kids -- NO.

Andee (Meowser)