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Governor Chris Christie's Weight Loss Surgery

Welcome to WABC TV’s Reset Your Life: A Healthier You blog! It follows the popular show "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" with host Chris Powell on ABC as well as other timely health issues as they come up in the headlines. As a bonus, you will also find meal plans, exercise routines and music playlists throughout the different posts to help get you motivated to reset your life! I wanted to start this blog, because like thousands of women in the tri-state, I too have struggles and triumphs with weight.

I have had major weight losses and gains in the last 12 years. The highs and lows on the scale correspond with the highs and lows I've experienced through school and college, work and the challenges of adult life. I am on my own new journey once again to get healthy. :)

The big news on weight journeys across the tri-state comes from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie this week with word he had Lap-Band surgery.  His weight is a regular topic of conversation on daytime talk shows and even front-and-center on late-night talk shows and comedy programs.  I've posted the story from Eyewitness News political reporter Dave Evans below, followed by more information on Lap-Band surgery from Eyewitness News medical reporter Dr. Sapna Parikh.  What are your thoughts on turning to surgery for help?  We've discussed in this space the pros and cons, so please leave your comments and thoughts below.



AP and Eyewitness News

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he decided to have weight-loss surgery for himself and his family, not to advance his political career.


Speaking at a news conference Tuesday in Newark, Christie said his weight will have nothing to do with whether he decides to run for president.

He says he never intended to make the decision public.

"I've struggled with this issue for 20 years," he told the newspaper. "For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them."

Christie has never disclosed his weight, but it's been an issue throughout his political career. Christie said four years ago that then-Gov. Jon Corzine was bringing it up in a campaign commercial that accused Christie of "throwing his weight around" to get out of traffic tickets.

Comics including Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman also have made fun of it. In interviews with Letterman, Orpah Winfrey, Barbara Walters and others, Christie has both joked about the issue and said solemnly that he's trying to shed pounds.

During a February appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman," the governor pulled out a doughnut and said his girth was "fair game" for comedians.

Christie was soon angered by comments from a former White House physician who said she worried about him dying in office. The governor said Dr. Connie Mariano should "shut up."

Ten days after that, on Feb. 16, Christie had the surgery. He said the operation lasted 40 minutes and he was home the same afternoon.

Christie, who is in the midst of a re-election campaign, declined to say how much weight he has lost since the surgery.

"A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full," he told the Post.

The Republican governor is running for a second term in November, although his name is often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate.

"I know it sounds crazy to say that running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, 'I have to do this for them, even if I don't give a crap about myself,'" he said.

The revelation about Christie's surgery came the same day that MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski's book featuring comments from Christie hit bookstores.

In the book, "Obsessed: America's Food Addiction - And My Own," Christie describes working out four times a week but not seeing major weight drops and hearing critics say that his weight shows he's undisciplined. He also talks about what others have said on Twitter, such as: "HEY GOVERNOR, WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST TODAY, ONE STICK OF BUTTER OR TWO?"

"For somebody like me who's had so much success in my life, and really been successful at everything I've tried, to not be able to be successful at this is incredibly discouraging," he said.

Approximately 160,000 stomach-reducing procedures of various types are performed each year. Gastric bypass, sometimes called stomach stapling, is the most common, where surgeons shrink the stomach's size and reroute food to the small intestine.

Gastric band surgery, best known by the brand name Lap-Band, is a less invasive and reversible alternative, where an adjustable ring is placed over the top of the stomach and tightened to restrict how much food can enter.

Candidates for gastric banding must have a body mass index of between 30 and 40 - plus a weight-related medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure - or a BMI of 40 and higher. They also must have previously attempted to lose weight through diet and exercise.

Christie, who says he does not have any other significant health problems, has talked about working with a personal trainer since he first ran for governor four years ago.

"If you eat appropriately and chew your food, it works nicely," said Dr. Christina Li, a bariatric doctor at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.

She said Christie has the resources to have people help him eat right and get exercise. While the band is removable, she said patients are told to adjust to having it for the rest of their lives.

Li said risks include infection, and that it does not work for all patients.

Dr. Jaime Ponce, who practices in Dalton, Ga., and is president of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, said that people who have the procedure Christie had often lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Christie's procedure was performed by Dr. George Fielding, head of NYU Medical Center's Weight Management Program, who did the same procedure for New York Jets coach Rex Ryan three years ago.

The adjustable Lap-Band has been available in the U.S. since 2001 for the most obese patients. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration expanded approval to somewhat less obese patients.

AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard in Washington and AP writer Katie Zezima in Newark contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


By: Dr. Sapna Parikh; Eyewitness News

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Gov. Chris Christie says he had Lap-Band surgery in February to improve his health over time. Here are 7 tips about the Lap-Band surgery.


1) The "Lap" in Lap-Band stands for "laparoscopically." That means doctors use long, thin cameras (called laparoscopes), to insert the band through small incisions in the abdomen.

2) The Lap-Band works by making your stomach smaller, restricting food, making you feel full faster so you eat less.

3) If you have a Lap-Band and eat too much, too fast- you will likely throw up.

4) If all goes well, you can go often go home the same day after the surgery.

5) Lap-Band was first approved by the FDA back in 2001- the approval was expanded in 2011 to include obese individuals with a BMI of 30 to 34 who also have a medical condition related to their obesity

6) There are risks of the Lap-Band procedure: infection, reflux, and dilation of the esophagus. And although rare, the band can erode into the stomach and slip out of place (requiring more surgery)

7) For the band to really help with long term weight loss, you have to be consistent and change your lifestyleeat small, HEALTHY meals and exercise. 

(Copyright ©2013 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)


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I'll see you here soon with more encouraging weight loss stories and health news.

**This program is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor for treatment of any medical condition and before beginning any diet or exercise regimen.** 



I hope the Governor gets to his goal weight and stays healthy.

Karen Freid

Considering Governor Christie's pressurized lifestyle as a public official as well as the habits that he has developed over the years, he obviously needs help losing weight. I wish him great success with the lap band!

Aaliyah Macgo

Same to you "I hope the Governor gets to his goal weight and stays healthy. "

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