There’s a new, controversial side effect of gastric bypass surgery. You’ll get cheaper restaurant meals!  That’s because post-op, doctors give patients a “Weight Loss Surgery” card which briefly explains that their stomach has been reduced to the size of an egg and asks restaurants to let them order smaller portions of food, or from the kid’s menu, for a cheaper price.

Experts say the weight loss cards are a smart idea in theory – but they’ve come under fire recently, since a lot of family dining restaurants now accept them, like Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster – which serve huge portions – many of which are calorie bombs. In fact, 97% of restaurant chains’ entrees exceed the USDA guidelines for fat, calories and sodium.

There are even buffets that accept the card – and let you put all the mac-and-cheese, pizza and mashed potatoes you want on your plate. But a big problem with buffets is that the foods are heavily processed and easily digestible. Which means gastric patients won’t feel full and may go back for more! And it’s hard enough for gastric patients to keep slim without the temptation.

In fact, nearly 60% regain weight after surgery. Since in order to stay thin, they have to stick to an extremely strict diet of about 4 ounces of food per meal. That’s roughly the size of the palm of your hand.

Experts point out that the weight loss cards will only make it harder for patients to stick to their diet.  Because they encourage people to eat loads of unhealthy food on the cheap. 

So, do you think weight loss cards are a good idea for gastric bypass patients? 

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