With a different fad diet on the market almost every week, it never ceases to amaze the things that people will try at the promise of losing a few pounds. It is well documented that so-called yoyo dieting is every bit as bad for your heart as simply being overweight.

Many of these so-called diets, with their claims of weight loss of up to 10lbs in a week are either unhealthy, unsustainable, simply ridiculous or a combination of all three! Usually, what you lose with these diets is water, not fat. I’ve even heard of people who are willing to ingest tapeworm in their quest to lose weight.

Celebrity Gastric Band StoryIt’s true though that tackling obesity is incredibly hard and can leave you feeling like there’s no hope and that nothing will work.

Cruel jibes from strangers on the street and being restricted to just a few chain stores on the high street for your shoes and clothes can leave you feeling incredibly low. Then there is also the chicken and the egg situation.

What came first, the obesity or the depression? Scientists have now confirmed that there is a link between obesity and depression but whereas they always assumed previously that it was the obesity that led to the depression, they have apparently now discovered that depression can lead to obesity.

One thing that we like to see, however, is the success stories. Whatever you may think of celebrity culture, it is great to see someone with whom you can identify who has ‘done it’. We all followed actress, Tina Malone didn’t we? Regular updates in the press showed us the gradual transformation from an obese 19st, size 26 woman to the svelte 9st, size 10 we see today. That is an incentive if ever there was one.

Tina achieved this by undergoing a gastric banding operation and this is the best part, she doesn’t care who knows it! She said she realised one day that her weight was killing her. She was suffering with diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnoea (a condition that can cause snoring and in some cases, severe breathing difficulties).

All of these were as a direct consequence of her size and weight. Now, having lost 10 stone, Tina no longer suffers from diabetes, she sleeps a lot better and now has healthier blood pressure than her fitness trainer husband!

Initially, she tried a gastric balloon and lost 4 stone. However, when it was removed, she quickly piled half of that back on, a story so many of us can relate to. How many times have you lost weight, only to wander off track for a while and then discover that it has all gone back on? Why is it so hard to lose but so easy to put back on?

Gastric balloons are really only a short-term measure. They are placed in your stomach for around six months and the idea is that, in this time, you will be able to ‘re-programme’ yourself to need less food to feel satisfied. There are many success stories from this procedure and there is no doubt that it works for many people. But if you are like Tina and have spent a lifetime of overeating, sometimes for reasons other than hunger, you may find you fall back in to old habits as soon as the balloon is removed.

Gastric band procedures, on the other hand, ensure much longer term results. You can leave the band in for many years, only needing the occasional adjustment to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Tina says that sometimes she does want to eat more but she physically can’t.
Her delight with her new figure is obvious. Who wouldn’t be overjoyed at such an achievement? Her honesty about her struggle can only help strengthen the resolve of others who are considering gastric banding.

Other celebrities haven’t always been so forthcoming regarding their experiences and successes with gastric banding. Of course, people are entitled to their privacy but Tina has realised that because of her celebrity status, she is well placed to offer herself as a role model to others in a similar position.

To be honest, when you read what people say in the press about celebrities who opt for gastric banding, it is hardly surprising that many of them fail to own up to it.

Waif like celebrities who somehow manage to live on a lettuce leaf a week are all too ready with their insults, put downs and unhelpful observations regarding obesity. They are also ready with their insults when the person in question decides to do something about it. It is true that gastric banding is not a quick and easy fix. There is still willpower involved but if Tina Malone is anything to go by, it works.

Other celebrities such as Vanessa Feltz, who has also succeeded with gastric banding, feel more comfortable discussing the health benefits of the operation and the consequent weight loss. As she approaches her 50s, Vanessa is reported to have started thinking about her mother who died when she was just 57.

Being obese isn’t just a cosmetic issue, as there are some very serious health risks involved. Type 2 Diabetes is often associated with obesity as are breathing difficulties, heart disease and gout. There are even some cancers that are associated with obesity. Do you really want to wait until you get a wakeup call from one of these?

The health risks associated with obesity are very real and having to face your own mortality is surely incentive enough to look in to gastric banding for yourself.

For more information on gastric band surgery procedures, visit  The Hospital Group  website.