You lose, you win. At least that's what Governor Chris Christie hopes after undergoing weight loss surgery, telling CBS News on September 29 that he has lost more than half of the weight he hopes to shed.
Since choosing gastric-banding surgery six months ago, the Governor seems to be doing well, according to weight loss experts, reported the North Jersey Record on September 29.
"He looks very good,” declared Dr. Jaime Ponce, president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery who estimates Governor Christie has lost 60 to 70 pounds. “Just by looking at those pictures, he’s on track.”
And although Governor Christie refused to discuss specific numbers with CBS News, he acknowledged that he's not at his goal weight.
“We don’t give numbers, but I will say I’m more than halfway to my goal,” he said.
“I think he has done reasonably well,” said Dr. Prashanth R. Ramachandra, who has performed more than 1,000 weight-loss surgeries in the Philadelphia area at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and Mercy Philadelphia Hospital. “If you look at Governor Christie, he still has a lot of weight to lose. But I would say he is at the average [of losing] four to six pounds a month so he should be about 35 to 40 pounds less.”
The slow weight loss may come as a surprise to those who think of weight loss surgery as an instant panacea. However, gastric banding is less invasive, resulting in a typical weight loss of one to two pounds a week.
And the open question: Will it work for Governor Christie?
About 50 percent of gastric-banding patients who participated in a 2011 study in the Archives of Surgery suffered from complications that required the removal of the device. However, some research shows that only 16 percent of patients had such severe complications.
“If [Christie] does well then, yes, it’s good for the industry,” said Dr. Beth Schrope, director of the Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, to the North Jersey Record. “But what a lot of people don’t see is how difficult it is to maintain the weight loss. It requires a lot of work. This is not an easy way out.”
Neither in the CBS September 29 interview nor in other interviews has Governor Christie been willing to share his diet.
In May, he told People magazine that he does not feel hungry. Governor Christie has continued his fitness plan, and has consistently declined the treats typically offered to politicians when they're campaigning, such as chocolate fudge and birthday cake.
And Governor Christie remains adamant that his size does not and should not impact his political aspirations.
“I certainly don’t think people here or other people around the state think my physical appearance in any way has diminished my ability to do my job,” said the Governor.