It’s the age of social media and instant “fame” that feeds our vanity! Looking good has never been more desirable and it’s not just celebs who are obsessed with looking beautiful. While being fit is always important, societal perceptions of beauty standards often push people to take drastic measures and shortcuts that don’t always produce the expected results and can sometimes be harmful. Recently, Kannada actress Chethana Raj died after developing some complications after her “fat-free” surgery at a private hospital in Bengaluru.
Losing weight is something we equate with looking beautiful, and more and more people are opting for different types of surgeries to shed those extra pounds. Nidhi Mohan Kamal, Nutritionist and Yoga Instructor spoke to Zee News English and shared her insights on weight loss surgeries.
Weight Loss Surgery: Does It Promote a Certain Body Type as Desirable?
Nidhi says weight-loss surgeries promote a certain body type, “but you have to understand that that’s the job.” “Except for critically obese patients (a small percentage), it is performed primarily with aesthetics in mind. It’s like plastic surgery – it’s about fixing the mind. In most cases, these surgeries aren’t medically necessary, but it’s about altering body parts — to look glamorous,” says Nidhi. She adds that people who are clinically obese need to undergo surgeries, but more often than not, they choose people for aesthetics.
The desire for instant results
Nidhi says that if you’re trying to lose weight through exercise and dieting, it will take time to see results. “If you want to lose say 3 inches with diet and exercise, it takes 3-4 months to see results. But this is where most people think, it’s like you walk in a clinic and walk out within an hour or two and lose that fat,” Nidhi shares.
Nidhi says it’s not just women who opt for these surgeries, men do too. “People who are regularly in front of the camera are definitely more aware. Also, clinics get a lot of inquiries ahead of the wedding season. Not only those who are getting married, but also friends and relatives who want to ‘look good’. There’s a social pressure to look a certain way, and a lot of people succumb to that pressure.”
The risks involved
Nidhi shares, “As with any surgery, there are always some risks and it’s not about going in and out of a clinic involved and you have to follow the doctor’s advice strictly.”
Nidhi says it can be risky for anyone, but for those who have lifestyle diseases – thyroid, high blood pressure, diabetes – the risk is “especially not worth taking”. Nidhi says other beauty treatments like laser resurfacing and fat freezing are recommended.
Whether it’s surgery or an injury, the younger you are, the easier it is to heal, but Nidhi cautions that risk remains subjective. “Of course, as with any operation, the risk is lower in younger people. But as in the case of Kannada actress Chethana, she was very young (early 20s). So risk is subjective and age is no guarantee. “
“No alternative to a healthy life”
Even if you decide to have weight loss surgery, it’s important to remember that there is no alternative to diet and exercise. Nidhi says, “How many calories you’re consuming, how much alcohol you’re drinking… all of that has to be taken into account. Whether you get an invasive or non-invasive procedure, you’re targeting a specific pocket of fat. But other areas of your body can store fat again. So if your calorie intake-calorie output is not balanced, you will inevitably gain weight.”
She goes on to explain, “When you lose weight through diet and exercise, you don’t decide where you lose weight, and when you gain weight again, you don’t decide where the fat goes. With surgery, you can decide where you lose weight, but without it a healthy lifestyle will make you gain weight and where the fat comes back is not up to you. So you can’t stop living a healthy life.”