Lap band surgery for people only 35 pounds overweight???

by Amy Renee

The New FDA Guidelines For Lap Band Surgery

The FDA guidelines for having lap band surgery used to be a lot more strict. In order for a patient to be considered for this procedure they had to be morbidly obese (BMI>40) or have a BMI>35 with at least one risk factor for chronic disease. The guidelines have changed and it is now shockingly easy for individuals to turn to lap band surgery as a “quick fix” weight-loss procedure.

Advocates of the new guidelines (most likely the people who are getting paid) say these new guidelines may prevent people from purposely gaining weight to meet the requirements so they can have the surgery. But why wouldn’t an overweight individual with a BMI of around 28 purposely gain weight so he or she could get it? It’s easy enough to get high blood pressure with poor eating habits. That’s one of several of the “risk factors” required. I’ve known plenty of people who have taken dangerous drugs, exercised to the point of extreme and more all for the sake of looking a certain way.


  • Body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher
  • One weight-related condition (type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol, sleep apnea, even something as common as arthritis)
  • So, as an example a 5’4″ woman who is 175 pounds would qualify

Surgery is fine but a plant-based diet is extreme?

This made me sick. I can’t believe that eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet is considered “crazy” and “extreme,” yet an average height woman who is only 35 to 40 pounds overweight with one health-related risk factor can have surgery to have a lap band placed around the top part of their stomachs in order to keep them from overeating is normal??? Why not change your bad behaviors and avoid the foods that are making you crave MORE food and not only causing you to eat more but could potentially lead to cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, the list goes on. I don’t get it. When will people learn? Why are we always so quick to take the easy road?


What people seem to forget is that they need to make lifestyle changes no matter what. It’s as if they think that having the band placed will suddenly cause their bad behaviors to disappear. If only it were that easy. Instead many of these individuals continue to eat their unhealthy foods, just in smaller quantities or risk running to the bathroom to vomit up the excess. Oh, but loading my plate full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains is restrictive…


Although patients who have a lap band placed have not had any (or in most cases have not) behavior modification counseling they cannot eat very much food following the surgery. This is a shock for many patients who are set in their ways in terms of eating patterns. And the types of food they eat is limited too since most individuals will experience at least one gastrointestinal side effect such as nausea and vomiting, heartburn, abdominal pain, and slippage of the band, yet more often than not patients find themselves going back to the candy and chips, just in smaller amounts. In fact some patients experience side effects so severe that they require either additional surgery or hospitalization. I’m sorry, but this seems a hell of a lot more restrictive than eating a diet full of delicious whole, plant-based foods!


Wouldn’t you rather change your eating habits and be able to eat as much as you want, as much as your body craves of the right foods? Our bodies naturally crave whole, plant-based foods because that is what they were meant to eat. It’s just when we confuse our bodies with genetically modified and fake foods full of chemicals, and animal foods pumped full of antibiotics and steroids that they start craving the wrong things. If we would just commit to making small changes in our lifestyle we would be able to enjoy food again. Whole, plant-based foods are delicious! Not only that, but they are healthful. They make us look and feel younger on the inside and out. And most importantly they keep us at a healthy weight and help to prevent and possibly even reverse chronic disease.

Adding to our healthcare crisis…

We are in a current healthcare crisis yet instead of educated consumers on preventative care and proper nutrition we just keep spending more money on extreme surgeries, supplements, and medications. We are one of the smartest nations in the entire world yet the way we manage healthcare is ridiculous. When are we going to start caring about our people and formulate a preventative plan through healthy lifestyle? Ugh.



  1. FDA approves new guidelines for lap band surgery. Early Show. Published on February 18, 2011. Accessed on May 2, 2014.
  2. LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB®) System – P000008. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Updated on September 5, 2013. Accessed on May 2, 2014.

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