Gastric By-Pass Surgery

Submitted By shawngong
Words: 909
Pages: 4

Regarding the controversial topic of whether an individual's gastric by-pass surgery should be paid for by the government, it is my belief that tax dollars should not be used to help people manage their weight. This belief stems from a variety of reasons. I feel that managing ones weight should be the responsibility of the individual and not of the government, that gastric by-pass surgery is expensive, and should be reserved only for people who need it to survive, not those who are merely attempting to improve their looks, and that the government should focus on programs which counteract the media's message that you have to be thin to be beautiful, rather than feed that message by supporting gastric by-pass surgery as the only way to meet society's expectations. For these reasons I feel that using tax dollars to pay for gastric by-pass surgery is not a beneficial idea. When it comes to managing one's weight, the person with the most control over the success or failure of the weight loss program is the individual themselves. I feel that if they are unable to lose weight themselves through dieting and exercise, then they should pay for their own gastric by-pass surgery, if they wish to get one. By dragging the government into this issue of social expectations and of weight loss, obese people are sifting the responsibility of maintaining a healthy weight from themselves, to that of the government. This is unfair, as the government should not be held accountable for decisions made by individuals. Furthermore, I believe that overweight people need to learn effective ways to limit their calories, eat enough servings of all the food groups, and other vital information required to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as losing weight is a long-term process, and cannot be solved by a "miracle" fix, such as a one-time gastric by-pass surgery. This "miracle" fix, which many obese people are turning to in order to become prettier in the eyes of the media, shouldn't be used as a shortcut to becoming thin, but rather as a last resort for those whose weight is so unhealthy that it is dangerous for them to maintain it. I personally would have no problem with the government spending $15 -$ 50 thousand per gastric by-pass surgery if they were saving lives. However if they were done purely for the sake of improving one's appearance, then I would feel that the money could have been spent better elsewhere. A better place to spend this money could be on training youth how to cook their own healthy meals, advertising for places to go exercise in, and other ways involving the prevention of obesity in children, which I feel is more effective than waiting until the person is already obese before treating them using a gastric by-pass surgery. Another area were this money and focus could be spent on, is on spreading the message that if people are happy with their appearance and lifestyle, than they shouldn't be constantly bombarded by media telling them otherwise. The pressures from the media, in particularly the fashion and entertainment industries, is one of the main reasons that people are unhappy with their weight, and are looking for ways to change it, such as through a gastric by-pass surgery. If this pressure was eliminated then the only people who would bother going through a gastric by-pass surgery are those who needed it to survive, as the rest, who may be only slightly obese, won't feel the need to