As part of its ongoing commitment to raise awareness of obesity as a serious medical condition, Allergan has launched a Web site, www.loseweightgainlife.co.uk. The Web site offers information and support to patients considering bariatric surgery.

"Lose Weight Gain Life" has been developed following extensive patient research and offers user friendly information for patients considering safe and effective surgical intervention procedures such as the non-surgical BIB™ System intragastric balloon, and surgical options such as the Lap-Band AP™ System, and gastric bypass. The Web site also includes a clinic locater tool for patients to find information about clinics and bariatric surgeons in their area who specialize in bariatric surgery.

"It’s interesting that people are performing more than 1,500 Google searches per month on gastric banding procedures in the UK alone, which demonstrates a huge desire for information about effective surgical treatments for obesity," says Paul Leeder, consultant general upper gastrointestinal and laparoscopic surgeon at the Nuffield Hospital, in Derby. "However a lot of the information relating to obesity surgery on the internet is misleading or confusing. ‘Lose Weight Gain Life’ helps to navigate through this minefield and provide clear, balanced information on surgical obesity intervention procedures available today."

Recent survey data shows widespread confusion over the causes of obesity in the UK, with nearly eight in 10 people believing the condition is caused by "lifestyle choices" and 50% also associating it with "greediness."

The survey also brings to light some of the stigma associated with obesity. Half of the people surveyed admitted to having made fun of someone who is overweight. Overall nearly one in five UK men and women also admitted they have discriminated against an overweight or obese person.

In terms of general consumer attitudes towards obesity, the survey revealed a broad acceptance to obesity surgery among the general public, with 53% of Britons agreeing that surgical interventions for obesity should be available on the National Health Service. In addition, 39% acknowledged the procedure could be a "life changing" experience.

[www.medicalnewstoday.com, February 1, 2008]