One Man’s War on Fat

In 2008, two-thirds of American adults were overweight, one-third of adults were considered obese. Marc Ambinder, a columnist for The Atlantic, was one of them. In this month’s cover story, he details his fight against fat. His chief weapon was bariatric surgery, which shrinks the patient’s stomach. “To describe existing federal policies and regulatory approaches on obesity as a patchwork is an insult to quilts everywhere,” he writes. He hopes that the first lady’s focus on childhood obesity will deliver results: “As I write this, it’s one year to the day since I had my surgery. Walking by my office, a colleague calls me a ghost of my former self. So far, at least, that’s still true. But I was very privileged, and very lucky. I had the resources to conquer obesity and all its attendant miseries with major surgery—a choice that we, collectively, should ensure that the adults of tomorrow don’t have to make.”