Posted by Pattie on 1/15/2006 12:59:00 PM

I hate it when I'm right!

This from Sandy Szwarc after I wrote "people died last year in America from attempts to lose weight (WLS and diet pills) than in Iraq" as part of my exchange with Fred.

(BTW, I should clarify that I meant more Americans died -- and that was an important distinction. A lot more Iraqis have died in the war and I was remiss not be clear on that point.)

From Sandy:

I did some quick math and here is the support for the death stats:

According to CNN, there have been 2211 casualties in Iraq as of January 15, 2006 (covering nearly 3 years). [click on "death toll comparisons"]

The American Society of Bariatric Surgeons (ASBS) estimates 150,000 weight loss surgeries were performed in 2005. The latest JAMA report found the post-op death rate the first year is 5.6% ages 35-44; 7.7% ages 45-54 (those are the most common ages for these surgeries). The death rate goes way up for older people -- 51% for those >75 years, but we'll disregard those and be conservative and just use the younger age figures.

That means that between 8,400 and 11,550 innocent, healthy people died in just one year in the hands of bariatric butchers*.

So bariatiric surgeries killed 200% to 500% more Americans in one year than the entire Iraq War. In fact, more than the Iraq War, Persian Gulf War, Afghan War, Spanish American War, and War of 1812 combined!

Not to minimize any loss of lives, but God, looking at these numbers, the fact that any news organization thinks that their petty political infighting stories are more important betrays an extreme fat bigotry and myopic Washington beltway viewpoint.

*(of course it's more considering most die slow deaths from years of nutritional deficits and complications, but we'll ignore that, too, so as not to appear to be "piling on." And comparisons of the annual death rates would be even more outrageous, given the wars lasted for years.

Not much to add to that.