I’ve written frequently about the stigma that goes with being obese and choosing to have gastric bypass or bariatric surgery. I have to admit there was a time in my distant path when I looked at it as the easy way out. It was what people did if they didn’t want to work at losing weight.

It never occurred to me back then just how hard it was to lose 100’s of pounds and the thing that really changed my mind was when I found out that for many people this was a, no kidding, life or death decision. It wasn’t about looking better, but rather getting rid of the weight in order to keep your body from succumbing to so many diseases that were terminal.

I went through another convincing round of thought when I found out that many people with type 2 diabetes were actually able to discontinue treatment, essentially cured of the disease, with a week or two after gastric bypass surgery. When you consider that type 2 diabetes can be the start of a downward health spiral affecting especially the cardio functions, this was huge. No more trying to control it and hope for the best. Just get rid of it.

Within six months the body has been so impacted by the loss of visceral fat that its’ disease fighting power is profoundly improved. From a life insurance underwriting standpoint this is all good news. Although there can be complications making underwriters cautious to reward the new found weight loss and health, once stability is established the offers and rates drop just like those pounds did.

While I can get reasonably priced life insurance for someone that is 6′ and nearly 400 pounds as long as they don’t already have other health issues, those rates could be 70% less 2 years post bariatric surgery at a weight of 240 pounds and the risk of collateral health issues will probably have been reduced by a higher percentage than the life insurance rates.

Bottom line. I’m no doctor, but when I see someone battle weight for years and never seem to get the upper hand it makes me wonder why they don’t take the prudent way back to health.

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