New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has reportedly lost almost 100 pounds since undergoing lap band surgery last year, called the bariatric procedure "a life-changing decision," the AP reported March 26.
Christie, 51, made the comments during his monthly TownSquare Media radio show. The governor has not stated how many pounds he has lost, but bariatric surgeons estimate Christie's weight loss at 90 to 100 pounds.
The previously sedentary Christie said he now works out four days a week and has dramatically improved his health. He said he prefers to get his cardio exercise by riding a stationary bike and is not a fan of weight-lifting.
Gov. Christie underwent lap-band surgery in February 2013 and said he has never felt better. The gastric-band procedure involves having a silicone band placed around the stomach to create a pouch the size of a golf ball, limiting the amount of food the patient is able to ingest.
Gov. Christie, who has been overweight all his life, said the best thing about the lap-band procedure is that he no longer feels the obsessive need to eat. "I’m not nearly as interested in food as I used to be," he told People.
Christie joins a long list of celebrities who have transformed their bodies and their lives after undergoing weight-loss surgery, including celebrity chef Graham Elliot (who has lost 150 pounds after gastric-sleeve surgery) and comedian Rosie O'Donnell, who has lost 40 pounds just seven months since getting gastric sleeve.
Bariatric surgery has skyrocketed in popularity, as more medical experts embrace the procedure for producing dramatic weight loss and for reversing diabetes and heart disease. To learn whether bariatric surgery is right for you, check out Weight Loss Surgery For Dummies, which examines the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of drastic weight loss post-surgery.
Research confirms that surgery beats diet and exercise for producing rapid weight loss, but bariatric surgeons are frustrated by the negative stigma surrounding weight-loss surgery. "People lose sight of the fact that the patients aren't just obese, they're sick," said bariatric surgeon Dr. Alan Wittgrove. "It's not as easy as just losing weight."
Dr. Wittgrove said it's unfair that weight-loss surgery is viewed as the lazy person's way out of obesity, saying no one would accuse someone who gets cancer surgery as lazy.