The Happy Losers Club launched on Tuesday aims to be a support environment for those who have embarked on a path of weight loss and healthy living through bariatric surgery.
“Most people from the cinema industry will never admit to having undergone bariatric surgery. But not me. I lost 35 kilos because of the surgery and it has made me a better singer, and given me a better quality of life,” said SPB, who has become a wandering goodwill minstrel of sorts for the surgery, hopping from Global Hospitals to the Fortis Centre speaking on its benefits.
The 70-year-old singer said he underwent the surgery in 2012 because despite his attempts at dieting and maintaining an exercise regimen, he simply could not reduce his weight. “I was 126 kg and it was the surgery that got me down to 95,” said SPB, who added that the surgery is usually recommended only when all other methods of weight-loss have failed.
“Obesity is a major public health concern which is increasing in not just adults but adolescents too,” said Dr Praveen Raj, head of the department of bariatric surgery, at the launch. “Around 22% of Indian children aged between 5 and 19 are obese. And one of the major reasons for this is a change to a more sedentary lifestyle,” he added.
The doctor explained that bariatric surgery does not begin and end with the surgery. Patients needed to be counseled on healthy lifestyle changes as well.
“The club will help patients discuss their experience both before and after the surgery. They can talk about their diet and exercise, regimen. The club basically is a means to provide encouragement to people who have chosen the surgery to get back to a healthy life,” said bariatric surgeon Dr Deepak Subramanian.