A truly ludicrous study purports to show that a weight-loss surgery called adjustable gastric banding works better than conventional medical treatment for Type 2 diabetes in the obese.
Type 2 diabetes is usually brought on by obesity, and patients can often rid themselves of the disease entirely by losing about 10 percent of their body weight.
Adjustable gastric banding consists of looping a band around the top of the stomach to cinch it into a small pouch. 25 to 30 percent of the more than 200,000 weight-loss operations performed in the United States last year used gastric banding.
Of course, weight-loss surgeries can result in black-outs, malnutrition, infection, bowel and gallbladder problems, and an increased risk of death, but these facts are largely missing from reporting on the study.
The study’s lead author, Dr. John Dixon, says he believes that, “[D]iabetes surgery will become common within the next few years.” The reasons for his position might become a little clearer when you realize that Dr. Dixon has received research grants and speakers’ fees from Allergan Health, the company that makes the gastric bands. The company also paid for the study in question.