25 February 2010

Jaw wiring a no-no

The principle of having one's jaws wired shut is sometimes used for the grossly obese. But this a last resort, used only when all other slimming methods have failed.

The principle of having ones jaws wired shut is sometimes used for individuals who are grossly obese. However, this a last resort, used only when all other methods of slimming have failed and the patient is so overweight that his/her life is in danger.


This procedure should always be done under the close supervision of a healthcare team including a medical doctor and a dietician.

Jaw wiring is certainly not the solution for young, healthy, normal weight girls who think they need to lose a kilo or two for Spring.

A sick society
A society in which teenagers are under such pressure that they believe they need to lose weight when they are actually not overweight, is sick. So are the practitioners who agree to provide the wires. At the very least, the individuals responsible for putting the wires in place, should have sent the girls to a dietician, clinical psychologist or medical doctor for counselling.

Where does this destructive urge to lose weight come from? The media can, to a certain extent, be blamed for propagating the idea that anorexic, skeletal human figures are the only shape that is beautiful or desirable. If you think about it carefully, you must see that the boney models who are used to sell anything from clothes to motor cars are not normal.

In fact, they represent a sort of shadow image which does not detract from the product they are selling. If they were really beautiful and stunning, no one would look at the product and they would not fulfill their purpose.

Be sensible. Do you really want to look like a clothes hanger or a skeleton?

Teenage vulnerability
The teenage years are probably the most difficult years of any person's life. This is the time when a young person is trying desperately to find him/herself and to work out his/her own system of values. It is so easy to fall under the spell of the media and take the images they publish as gospel truth.

The next step is to try by hook or by crook to make oneself look like one of those images. And this is where all the twisted dieting practises come in - jaw wiring, starvation diets, liposuction, stomach reductions - you name it, young people will try it, while chasing after an unattainable dream.

Teenagers, and especially young girls, are the most vulnerable and can easily slip into the dreadful trap of anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. An Australian study showed that a very high number of teenage girls had tried various ways of losing weight and that up to 15% had developed anorexia.

So those of you who are contemplating having your jaws wired shut to lose a few kilos, stop right there and think of the consequences. You don't want to develop anorexia - that is the road to hell.

The alternative
The authors of the above-mentioned study came to the conclusion that the safest and only solution to weight loss in young people is to use plenty of regular exercise instead of dieting.

Please think again if you are contemplating having this ghastly procedure done - take the money and join a gym instead. Remember jaw wiring is a no-no. - (Dr I.V. van Heerden, DietDoc)

Any questions? Ask DietDoc


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