Press Office

BOSPA Statement on New NICE Obesity Guidance - 13 December 2006

BOSPA is pleased to assist the media in responsible reporting about obesity surgery. However, we are dismayed to see the sensationalist nature of some articles and remind you that only reporting the negative aspects of obesity surgery will not help the huge number of health professionals and patient advocates who are trying to get this treatment established as a main stream service in the UK.

"The media is dedicated to controversy. Because there are some who oppose bariatric surgery, others who are staunch advocates, and because the subject of the controversy is the obese individual, towards whom bias is sanctioned, the media gives bariatric surgery a great deal of attention. This publicity, more often than not, emphasizes the negative aspects of bariatric surgery outcomes. For example, if a patient undergoing cancer or heart surgery dies, there are no news headlines; if, however, a bariatric surgery patient has a fatal pulmonary embolus or other untoward event, the sensationalistic media dwells on this unfortunate occurrence."

Patients and their families are well informed about the risks of undergoing bariatric surgery operations and as it is often their last hope after many years of unsuccessful treatment, sensationalist coverage can be very unsettling.

BOSPA is pleased to assist journalists by:

  • Providing regular news and information about bariatric surgery in the UK
  • Putting journalists in touch with patients who have a story they are willing to share
  • Identifying appropriate surgeon spokespersons for news and documentary programmes
  • Providing information to researchers developing programme or story ideas.

All media enquiries should be directed to Chrissie Palmer at BOSPA ( or tel: 08456 02 04 46).

Recent press releases and backgrounders: