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Can We All Have 'Weight Loss Surgery' Cards For Smaller Restaurant Portions?

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

That was my reaction when I read this informative NPR piece about restaurant discount cards that are issued to patients who've had gastric bypass operations. The bypass procedures, performed to help obese people lose weight, leave patients with room for only very small meals in their stomachs. So, NPR's The Salt food blog reports, surgeons distribute WLS — or Weight Loss Surgery — cards that "ask restaurants to allow patients to order a smaller portion of food for a discounted price."

The piece focused largely on debate over whether it's a good idea to give bypass patients discount cards for restaurants whose offerings could encourage them to overeat and overpower the surgery's effects. But I see that a commenter had a very similar reaction to mine:

I wonder where I can get a bootleg WLS card. Not that I'll ever eat at Golden Corral, but I've mostly stopped eating at restaurants because the portions are so huge and I hate to waste food. Maybe if I had a medical excuse they would let me have a smaller portion.

I've often wondered why more restaurants don't try to appeal to the millions upon millions of us who like to eat out but are eternally fighting fat. Of course, there are other solutions: Split a meal with your companion. One commenter suggests: "Bring your own to-go container, and fill it up at the beginning of your meal. Then eat what's left on your plate!"

But still, I'd like to second the commenter who writes that restaurant portions simply tend to be too big. "I usually leave half the meal on the plate," the commenter writes. "So, can I get a card that allows me to get a discount of my meal and smaller portions? Please?"

This program aired on October 10, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth blog.

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