It's seems like the UK has suddenly caught Gastric Fever!
Gastric Band surgery has over taken Liposuction as the most performed cosmetic operation in modern times. With stars such as Sharon Osborne, Anne Diamond, Alison Hammond and now Fern Britton going under the knife to reduce their size, it's no surprise people have deemed this a miracle procedure!
The question is why have most of these celebs lied about the surgery?
Tales of drastic lifestyle changes, healthy eating plans and rigorous exercise regimes have all spurted from the mouths of such celebrities as Alison Hammond and Fern Britton. Anne Diamond even tried competing in Celebrity Fit Club without admitting she had undergone weight-loss surgery.
So is having a Gastric Band fitted technically cheating?
First things first, I suppose we should find out exactly what the surgery entails.
Gastric Band Surgery is a procedure that involves having a silicone band implanted via laparoscopic surgery to the upper-top half of a person's stomach. It costs between £7000 and £9000.
The surgery is designed for obese patients with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or above. The band itself is an inflatable silicone prosthetic device, which when fitted correctly creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach which can usually hold around 30ml.
The idea being that once you have the band implanted, the pouch fills after smaller portions of food and tells your brain you are full. The band then slowly pushes the digested food through the rest of the stomach.
So in essence after having gastric band surgery the patient will eat less than they once did, because they will find themselves feeling full up sooner, therefore enabling weight-loss to occur.
In simple terms having this surgery is cheating if you were to compare it to losing weight through controlled healthy eating and regular exercise. However, if we take a look at the process of after-care once the band is fitted we make a surprising discovery.
You may have thought that having this particular weight-loss surgery would allow the patient to continue eating their normal diet... just obviously less of it. However, after having a gastric band fitted patients are given strict rules on what they can and can not eat.
- Sugary foods are completely off limits along with any snacks between meals.
- High calorie foods should be avoided.
- Any liquids consumed should preferably have zero calorie content and should not be drunk with meals.
- Coffee is a no no, as are carbonated drinks and alcohol for up to six months after surgery.
- Patients must make significant effort to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle.
You may think to yourself... if the patient has to drastically change their eating and lifestyles post op, why didn't they just do this in place of the operation and lose weight like most people...
The thing to remember with Gastric Band Surgery is for the majority of patients this procedure is a last resort. Patients must prove other weight-loss efforts have failed before.
In Fern Britton's case, as a nation we have seen this well loved TV presenter struggle with weight-loss for years. We've read about her diet battles and her triumphs. So when two years ago she made the decision to have a Gastric Band fitted it was not a decision she would have taken lightly. Her comments as she made the news public were,
"As interest is so high I'm making public, as a personal choice, that I had a gastric band operation two years ago. I did this purely for myself and I would not wish to influence others to do the same. But for me it has worked and I am very pleased with the results."
Though, for millions of devoted ITV viewers, the news of Fern's surgery will come as a blow. Convinced by Fern herself, in many TV and magazine interviews, that she has overcome all odds to lose weight through controlled dieting and regular exercise. To now be told she opted for cosmetic surgery will for many feel as though she has cheated and lied to all those who look up to her.
Fern, who at her biggest claimed to be a UK size 22, has dropped to a size 16 since having the band fitted. She has been interviewed and questioned about her dieting many times, always denying having any surgery. She has co-released a fitness DVD and appeared in a string of magazines promoting the best ways in which to lose weight naturally.
Fern Britton's announcement comes just 4 weeks after Alison Hammond also admitted to having a Gastric Band fitted.
So the big question is... why did they lie?
As a big woman myself, the only answer I can muster is that most women are very private about their bodies. We are scrutinised daily on how we look and dress, even more so if you are a celebrity. Losing weight is a personal battle that only the individual will truly experience. The decision to take further action as these women have done, for some may seem like an easy option, but after doing in depth research I have found Gastric Band Surgery is not the walk in the park that we may all think it is.
These are all women with personal lives as well as being celebrities in the public eye. They are entitled to privacy as much as the next person. Lying to the public about weight-loss is something that so many celebrities do on a daily basis, from those who have had surgery to those with eating disorders. The private lives of celebrities are private for a reason. We are constantly being lied to.
I have watched Fern for many years and I suppose I do look up to her in a knowledgeable way. She has experienced and learnt so much from her time in the lime-light and I have always found her comments interesting and useful. She is hard-working and a mother of four. She has a fantastic talent to brighten up the screen with her fabulous smile, and now she has the body she has desperately strived for all these years. If this isn't something to look up to, then tell me what is!
**Disclaimer** - We here at 100% People are not health care professionals. We have researched issues such as the one featured in the above article in detail to bring you the best of the information available to us at the time of print. We can not be held responsible for the health of our readers and would always urge someone to contact their G.P or a qualified specialist before making any change to their diet or lifestyle.