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   Inside Out - North West: Monday 24th February, 2003

BATTLING OBESITY WITH SURGERY

Lynn Greenberg on a shopping trip
Billy and his wife Joy Beverley
LYNN'S SURGEON DESCRIBES THE OPERATION
  REALPLAYER REQUIRED

Fighting her weight has been a life-long battle for Lynn Greenberg.

Convinced her excess weight will eventually kill her, she recently underwent drastic surgery.

Despite trying all kinds of diets and having her jaw wired together, Lynn Greenberg from Manchester still weighs twenty stone at only five foot three inches.

She happily admits to loving her food, saying, "Iíll go into a cafť and Iíll order two doughnuts rather than a meal. Thatís a typical thing Iíd do."

"Itís a vicious circle. The fatter you get, the more you eat."

Family Concern

Gerry and Lynn Greenberg on their wedding day
Gerry and Lynn Greenberg on their wedding day

At 55 years old, Lynnís years of comfort eating are taking their toll on her heart and joints.

Her family believes that she is eating herself into an early grave.

Her husband Gerry says, "How often do you see people of 80 years of age who weight as much as Lynn? Their hearts give way. How much longer can she take it?"

Gerry recalls fonder days when they met in a club in 1968 and weight was not such a problem.

"She was very beautiful. I was very proud to be with her because so many guys used to look at her!"

Procedure

surgeons operating on Lynn Greeberg's stomach
Surgeons reduce Lynn's stomach size

Lynn needs to lose at least eight stone. She is pinning her hopes on a gastric bypass procedure.

Costing £10,500, it will reduce Lynnís stomach to a fifth of itís present size.

The operation, performed at the Bupa hospital in Leeds, will vastly reduce the amount Lynn is able to eat.

It will also stop fats and carbohydrates being absorbed into her body.

The beginning

Lynn puts the start of her weight gain down to the time following the birth of her two daughters.

She began experiencing chronic headaches and says that the tablets she was prescribed increased her appetite and the pounds piled on.

Lynn says, "Diets didnít work because I didnít stick to them."

"I had my jaws wired. I lost two stone and I had to take them off because I couldnít stand the pain. I very quickly put it back on."

Motivation

Obesity Facts

It causes 30,000 deaths a year in England alone.

19% of Britons are obese. 39% are overweight.

Adult obesity rates have tripled since 1982.

People are classed as obese if they have a body mass index over 30.

It can lead to health problems including:

  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

The stomach bypass surgery is Lynnís last chance at shedding her excess weight.

She has plenty of motivation in the form of her four grandchildren.

Lynn says, "I want to do all the things that a good grandmother does."

"I spend a lot of time with them but all I ever do is sit and I canít get down on the floor."

"I want to be here to see them grow up."

Progress

Just three weeks after the operation, Lynn has already shed two and a half stone.

But there is still a long way to go.The weight wonít just fall off.

Healthy eating and significant willpower on Lynnís part are essential to make Lynn victorious in this final battle with obesity.

See also ...

On bbc.co.uk
Obesity surgery
Hot topic - obesity
Obesity and fertility

On the rest of the web
Obesity help
Obesity surgery
International Obesity Task Force
National Obesity Forum

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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Readers' Comments

We are not adding any new comments to this page but you can still read some of the comments previously submitted by readers.

Michelle Brown
I haven't seen the programme, just this web site, but I want to wish Lynn the best of luck for the future. I've just discivered that my bmi is 49, I have two small children and I'm only 36.

My daughter recently said: "are you going to die, because you are very fat?" It has made me want to really do something. I'm seeing my GP in two weeks to speak to him about surgery.

I looked a lot at the side-effects and complication, but it seems to me that I'll die sooner if I don't get the help that I need. Hopefully in a year I'll write back saying that I've had the op and it was sucessful, like Sarah Vivian - I'll have my life back!

Sarah Vivian
I had the surgery done back in June 2003 and 7 weeks on i have lost three stone. Despite the sickness and pain i have never looked back and would recommend it to anyone who is thinking ablout it.

Dr Pollard explained everything fully to me and my husband and put my mind at rest. I have since been back to see him at Bupa in Leeds for a check up and everything is healing nicely.

He has given me my life back and i feel as though there will never be enough thank you's to show how gratefull i am to him.

SHIRLEY GREEN
Mr Pollard did my operation a year ago and I have only lost 9 stones I started at 27 stones I CANT seem to get any further in my loss please help!

Adi
I too have had this surgery doine by Mr Pollard and would like to reccomend people who are contemplating having it to contact a very good peer support website in the uk www.bgab.co.uk

I am 3 months post op now and although initially not pleasant i am very happy with the 58lb loss i have now managed and I look forward to continuing success which eluded me with every attempt of dieting for many years.

LISA SIMPSON (LYNN GREENBERGS DAUGHTER)
I think mum is so brave. She is the most wonderful mum in the world and we all hope and pray that this operation will give her extra years of good health etc etc.



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