It's taken a couple of days but I think I can finally address the topic of the 12-year-old who had Lap-Band surgery in Mexico with some measure of civility. At least, I hope I can.
What disturbs me most about the case is this girl's mom and the apparent lack of accountability on the part of both of them. Mom has a fat kid, so her first step is cosmetic surgery (tummy tuck and lipo). When that fails, Mom takes daughter (now 12) to Mexico for bariatric surgery.
Now everyone is happy. Mom says daughter is a compulsive eater and she likes the band because whenever she overeats, she throws up (nice way to train for bulimia, I suupose). Mom likes that her daughter is finally thin and fashionable.
My personal favorite of all the comments Mom made were those related to why she didn't have her daughter go through the process in the states: Money. Nutritional and psychological counseling were too expensive. Really? Compared to a tummy tuck ($3K-$6K), lipo ($1K) and Lap-Band ($9K in Mexico)? Why do I have a hard time buying that story?
I was a fat kid -- not a chubby kid, a FAT kid. I understand how cruel children and adults can be to obese children. It's not a fun life, but is cosmetic and bariatric surgery the answer? I don't think so. A 12-year-old is not mature enough to understand the dangers/consequences of such decisions. The key to long-term weight-loss success is developing a healthy relationship with food and learning to balance consumption with exercise. What has this little girl learned about that? And how is she supposed to learn when Mom's answer to everything is surgery?