Mike Huckabee LAP-BAND Talk

mike huckabee lap band talkFormer Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee spoke at a reception at ASMBS 2011. The event was hosted by Allergan, and featured Dr. Marina Kurian and Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul who opened, and Dr. Adam Smith who introduced Huckabee. He began by speaking about the state of healtcare in the country. “We are not a health care crisis; we are in a health crisis.” He spoke specifically about obesity saying, “We will dig our graves with our knives and forks.”

Huckabee talked about his son, who had LAP-BAND surgery performed by Dr. Clay Wellborn. His son had to borrow the money from Huckabee because his insurance didn’t pay for it. Although Huckabee says he personally didn’t have surgery – he instead lost weight through lifestyle modification – he is a strong supporter of bariatric surgery as an option. “There is no shame in surgery”, he said, “the shame is letting people die of this condition [obesity]”.

The BMI report card in Arkansas was discussed. The report card provided a measure the BMI of each child in Arkansas, and it was mailed confidentially to the child’s parents. The parents were instructed to see their pediatrician if their child was deemed at-risk based on their BMI. Huckabee said Arkansas was at that time, the only state to arrest the rise in childhood obesity. He’s disappointed that the BMI report card has been made optional since he left office.

For anyone who denies that there is a problem with obesity, and specifically childhood obesity, Huckabee encouraged them to look at their own third grade class picture, and then look at any third grade class today as comparison.


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