Pills and surgery vs diet and exercise

21:57, Jul 09 2014
EASY WAY OUT? Don't cut us open, dear doctors - we can cut in the kitchen and the gym.

Science Daily released some alarming findings last week, at the annual International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society (ICE/ENDO) meeting, held in my sweet home...Chicago.

After reviewing the findings of 23,000 surveys, Dr. Z. Jason Wang, the study's principal investigator, concluded: 'Obese and overweight Americans who have tried losing weight report far greater overall satisfaction with weight loss surgery and prescription weight loss medications than with diet, exercise and other self-modification methods.'

'Ah', you say. 'But those are the Yanks!' But in Australia and New Zealand, the SAD (Standard American Diet) continues to influence our bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and waistlines.

In the study, Dr. Wang refers to patients being more satisfied with inserting sleeves and bands around organs to 'self-modification' (also known as healthy diet and exercise).

Cut us open in the hospital? Or cut some calories in the kitchen?



1) Cut your daily bottle of fizzy drink and one energy drink down to water. If you have a can of cola and one energy drink each day, you're consuming an extra 436 calories (1825kjs) per day.  Change your life by drinking water. You'll save yourself almost 160,000 calories (666,000kjs) per year and an infinite number of chemicals.

2) Strip your fast food burger for a healthier option. McDonald's new Brazil Burger is a beef patty packed with beans, corn, and capsicum (I refrain from writing what it looks like). There's sauce, and the bun is shaped like a soccer ball.  At 599 calories (2500kjs), cut it for a spicy turkey burger.  With more spices and flavour, you'll also consume less sugar and calories (318 calories / 1335kjs).

3) Cut fish and chips, and cut the pizza.  Ignoring calories, imagine the internal change that surgery can't help if you just switched your fried fish and chips with tartare/tomato sauce with salmon - squeezed with lemon, green salad with oil, and boiled potatoes.  If it's pizza and DVD night in, imagine switching your Pizza Hut four cheese pizza (1,835 calories / 7,708kjs) with half a pizza and prepping your own spinach salad.  You'll feel lighter, healthier, and happier.

4) Cut the choc. Cut the cheap milk chocolate mega-brands for 70% cacao dark chocolate that contains less sugar and more health benefits, and you can still have your cake and eat it too.  

Cutting in the kitchen is about portion control and processed junk. But with fitness it's about cutting out certain exercises, because smarter fitness utilises more muscles.


1) Cut the bench press; use the Swiss Ball. Working your chest? Work more muscles by doing dumbbell bench presses on a Swiss Ball. Not only will you be exercising your chest and triceps, but you'll also work the glutes (bum), hamstrings, and core stability.  More muscles worked means more tone and more weight loss. No Swiss Ball? Do push ups - a simple movement all men and women should be performing.

2) Cut the leg press; perform squats. Sitting in a chair, with knees bent and pushing a lot of weight on the leg press is not a functional movement. We sit down and stand up all day, which mimics squats. Use just your bodyweight (or add weight), and squats are one of the best movements to tone your legs and bum.

3) Cut the cardio machines; get outdoors. Open your front door during a winter morning for some sun (Vitamin D), fresh air, and to be close to the water.  Then, RUN. Don't move on a conveyor belt; hit the sand, the pavement, or the stairs - I guarantee you will feel 10x better in the shower and reinvigorated throughout your workday.

I could have released my findings to Dr. Wang in Chicago, but they must have sent my invite to the wrong Michael Jarosky in Sydney. But more importantly, it's hardly surprising that the final statement from the research notes: 'Wang's company, Eisai, makes the prescription weight loss medication, lorcaserin.'

Pills and surgery are Dr. Wang's financial answer, but it's not the healthiest answer. I'd talk with Dr. Wang about this outdoors in the sun, but he'd probably rather do it inside over a couple of Vitamin D supplement pills so that Eisai's market capitalisation can increase above its estimated $10.84 billion.

So I'll borrow a quote and say: I like to judge one's health on whether they take two pills at a time or two stairs. Don't cut us open, dear doctors - we can cut in the kitchen and the gym.

Sydney Morning Herald