A recap of Ragen Chastain's blog on bariatric surgery for kids

Guess what? My spell check is constantly asking me to change bariatric to barbaric. Coincidence? I wanted to share with you about Ragen Chastain's recent blog post "Stanford's Children's Hospital Excited to Farm Fat Kids", which you can read in its entirety here

According to the blog post, Stanford's Children's Hospital, located just south of San Francisco, has received accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program for their Adolescent Bariatric Surgery program, and Ragen is appalled. 

She points out the fact that this is a life-threatening surgery that even when it doesn't end in mortality, has a life time of consequences and possible complications. 

Ragen questions whether these children are fully capable of understanding all the consequences, "It may be difficult if not impossible for children to understand that they are signing on for a lifetime of restrictive eating and supplementation to balance the needs of a mostly amputated stomach while avoiding malnutrition."

I really encourage you to read her blog post which again, you can find here.

What is this world we live in where it's acceptable and celebrated to put children under the knife in order for them to fit a societal body ideal. I know someone will say, "but they're unhealthy" or "this will prevent them from getting unhealthy". I would encourage those people to read the research. Unhealthy comes in all shapes and sizes and living in a larger body does not guarantee a life of diabetes and heart disease. Also I would say to those people, these children will have to take expensive supplements for the rest of their lives to prevent malnutrition...what factors are we using to define health?

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Tamara Duarte

Tamara Duarte is a counselor, author, speaker, and activist. Her private practice, Get Centered Counseling in Vancouver WA, helps women with food and body issues learn to love themselves, their body, their life, and their relationships. Her life’s work is steeped in personal experience, having fifteen years in recovery for anorexia, in addition to being a breast cancer survivor. An up and coming force in the counseling community, Tamara has been published in a textbook called Treatment Strategies for Substance and Process Addictions, and has sat on a panel at the American Counseling Association Conference, where she spoke to her peers on strategies and tools to use with clients struggling with eating disorders. Having a deep, personal understanding of what it takes to recover from this condition, she seeks to be an example to those she treats, to let them know that recovery is possible. Currently developing a podcast which addresses the cultural issues that promote body shame, self-esteem issues and eating disorders, Tamara lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband and best friend, Adam, enjoying life to the fullest with their two beautiful children, Jacob and Chloe.