I am very glad to learn that the governor of my home state of New Jersey, Chris Christie, is taking control of his health. Actually, I had considered trying to reach him to speak about obesity surgery. It turns out that I did not need to do so. Apparently Christie spoke with New York Jets coach Rex Ryan about his weight loss surgery. Ryan had the LAP-band in 2010 and lost 100 pounds. In February, Christie secretly had bariatric surgery with the LAP-band.
I only can assume that being in the spotlight is difficult even under the best conditions. Christie has come under public fire about his obesity, more often than not he has been the brunt of fat jokes on national television. He is as imperfect as the rest of us although his obesity is open for public humiliation.
Chris Christie and David Letterman talk fat jokes.
The governor claims to be the healthiest fat person around. He has gone to lengths to chime in with the crowds who laugh at him at his expense. During his appearance on David Letterman Christie tells fat jokes while chewing on a donut and licking his fingers.
Christie in his tough-guy “up yours” style tries to fool the world into thinking he doesn’t care. Or perhaps Christie wants us to believe that fat people are jolly. Neither is true. I see through his ruse and know it must be difficult and hurtful for him.
And in case you’re buying into his act, let me tell you that super morbidly obese people like Christie are not healthy. Obesity is a chronic, metabolic, and progressive illness with a genetic predisposition. The scientific community believes there are over 1,000 genes related to weight. About 200 of them have been discovered.
Obesity has been recognized as a disease by medical associations such as the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP), and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO). Even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agrees that obesity is a disease (http://www.obesityaction.org/).
Although bariatric surgery has significantly improved the lives and health of many people, myself included, there is no magic in the procedure. It should not be viewed as an alternative to the lifestyle changes that are necessary. Bariatric surgery is a tool that can help people become more successful at these changes in lifestyle. I hope Christie makes the necessary changes it takes to allow the surgery to "do its work."
The governor’s political successes sometimes have taken a back seat to the countless articles that have been written about his obesity. Political rivals and talking heads have accused the governor of being too obese to serve in any public office, let alone to be a possible presidential candidate.
But Christie just may have the last laugh.
Living life well-fed,
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Published On: May 10, 2013