on air now

Surgery is not the answer to obesity problem, says medical expert

Surgery is not the answer to Australia’s obesity problem, a leading medical expert has said. 

Responding to calls to increase money spent on bariatric surgery in public hospitals, Professor Paul Zimmet said it would ‘bankrupt the health system’.

The Emeritus Director of Baker IDI told Tom Elliott on 3AW Drive that the surgeries were effective but expensive. 

‘There is no question about the effectiveness of the surgical procedures for obesity and diabetes. The question is can we really afford for them to be widespread?’ he said. 

Bariatric procedures change how food is managed in the body, and include lap band surgery which reduces the size of the stomach and therefore reduces appetite.

Currently roughly 95 per cent of bariatric surgeries are done within the private health system. 

Tom Elliott asked Professor Zimmet what action should be taken to tackle the obesity epidemic.

LISTEN to his five solutions below