Is liposuction better than a gastric band?

What are the best weight loss interventions?
08 January 2019

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Is liposuction better than a gastric band?


What's the best way to lose weight? Chris Smith put Mary's question to food expert, and author of Gene Eating, Giles Yeo...

Giles - I'm going to give you the short answer and the short answer is liposuction is no good for us at all, because it's cosmetic; whereas the gastric band actually tackles the source of the problem, which is food intake. Okay, so in order to unpack this the first thing we've got to know is fat gets a bad rap but it's actually its job is to store energy. And when we gain weight we don't get more fat cells, not largely speaking, but your fat cells get bigger, like a balloon. And the problem is, when you actually get to a point where the balloon gets full, then the fat goes somewhere else and it's when it goes somewhere else - such as your muscle and liver - that you end up with type 2 diabetes; you know increased risk of cardiovascular disease blah blah blah...

Chris - Okay. So liposuction is the metabolic equivalent of sweeping dirt under the carpet. Basically, you suck out the fat you can see, but it doesn't take away the bad fat that's doing naughty things in other parts of the body that you can't see?

Giles - It's even worse than that, because the problem with liposuction is it removes your safe fat-carrying capacity; so you can imagine of all these balloons - you know going bigger smaller bigger smaller - the more of these balloons you have, actually the safer; you may not look as good okay, and that's fair enough, but at the end of the day you're less likely to actually tilt into disease. Liposuction may give you a nice booty, but the problem is it actually increases your risk of disease, so it’s even worse than sweeping under the carpet. It's actually giving you more and sweeping it under the carpet. So a gastric band should be the way to go if you're looking at the two of those.

Chris - And what's the book called?

Giles - The book is called “Gene Eating”, which is a play on “clean eating”. It's called the science of obesity and the truth about diets. And, largely speaking, what it’s looking at is the diets that are out there. Now some of them are very faddy and have no scientific basis to them at all. But most diets work to some degree. And the question is what the kernel of truth is; where does that kernel of truth come from, and where the fantasy has actually emerged is what the book is about.

Chris - Most people say that most of these faddy diets work because what they do is make you more calorie conscious. So you pay more attention to what you eat more of the time and you're therefore a bit less likely to overeat.

Giles - At the end of the day a diet that works is a diet that reduces your caloric consumption, right. I mean, it's physics. We can’t actually get away from physics, but different people are going to have completely different strategies of reducing their caloric content. So my wife, for example, bans me from buying chocolate in the house -  there's a plate of chocolate in front of me at the moment! - because she loves it.

Chris - We just wanted to see we've done the experiment the psychologist to the room will say there's a place actually Mr. treats including a cherry Bakewell in front of jars and we're just seeing how many we're going to weigh the plate at the end and we'll see how many have you have consumed.  I've given the game away.

Giles - I know you have you have but but I can't buy chocolate in the house because my wife says “I'll eat it! Don't buy it now!” That's fine. But I have no problems with chocolate but with pork scratchings!

Chris - You can't resist that?

Giles - I can't resist those! But, I imagine a government edict comes down to say ban chocolate so we can lose weight. It'll only work for my wife and not for me because we're not tackling the reasons why we're going to eat more. Diets, if you are to lose weight are going to be personal. You have to do you. There is no magic one diet that works for everyone.

Chris - So that's “Gene Eating”; it’s out, by Giles, at the moment.


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