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[c] TWEETS & POSTS.

A selection of your comments left on our website, Twitter and Facebook pages Obesity surgery cost the North East NHS almost pounds 6.5m last year - an increase of 794% in just five years, according to new statistics. Sean Woodcock, lead bariatric surgeon at North Tyneside Hospital, claims "surgery pays for itself within one year to 18 months" as the resulting weight loss reduces the need for medication. You have been discussing the issue of weight loss surgery via the Chronicle website and Facebook page.

Mick Stobbart said: "The Government should tax McDonald's and fast food, like they do with cigarettes. That would stop a lot of problems."

Karen Mitchell added: "Prevention rather than cure all the way. As soon as we stop cheap processed foods, make fresh fruit and veg more accessible and affordable, and stop supermarkets and advertising companies telling us things are healthy when they are not, that would be a good start."

Paul Ferry Smithlz replied: "People can't afford healthy grub."

However, Sassy345 responded: "There needs to be a bigger crackdown on weight loss surgery. And there need to be better alternatives. I know people who have put on an extra stone on purpose so they can get the surgery rather than doing it alone. The ones who say, 'I have tried everything and nothing works' are lying. How about before the surgery they have to do a mandatory stay in a facility to make sure that they cannot lose weight? I bet most of them would have lost a stone after that two weeks. I am not a skinny person, but I know that hard work and willpower will get you where you want to go. I have gone from size 22 to a size 10 without any help. Its all about the choices YOU make and the NHS should not be picking up the bill for your lack of willpower."

Kelly Hopper shared: "I had a gastric bypass in December 2011 after years of battling weight problems stemming from mobility problems due to an accident and arthritis. I reached a staggering 26st-plus. In 18 months I've lost nearly 11st. A lot of my meds have shifted and changed, I no longer need outside carers to help me stay independent, and between me and my family I'm managing much better on my own. How would you focus on prevention if it wasn't available on the NHS? I never chose to be overweight. I have all my life paid my way in this country so why shouldn't I be entitled to help? The operation I have had is far from a 'cure' and only works when I work with it!" TOP COMMENT Andrew Elsender said: "My mam works for the NHS obesity team. They offer patients alternatives to surgery."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2012
Words:463
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