Dr. Shanker Pasupathy, Debunking Common Weight Loss Myths & Misconceptions

Dr Shanker Pasupathy was an ASEAN Scholar at Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College from 1984-1989. He obtained his medical degree from the National University of Singapore, graduating in 1995. After completing his training in general, gastro-intestinal and vascular surgery in Singapore, Germany and the UK, he spent a year in France acquiring skills in advanced keyhole surgery techniques (laparoscopy and robotic surgery). On his return to Singapore he pioneered the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic gastric bypass at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in 2008.

Hernia Specialist, Dr Shanker is the current president of the Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society of Singapore (OMSSS) and a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). He is the past president of the Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (Singapore chapter). He is invited to teach and conduct workshops in keyhole surgery locally and overseas. Dr Shanker is an international faculty member at the Asian Institute of Telesurgery (AITS), Taiwan.

We had the opportunity to have Dr. Shanker debunk some of the common weight loss myths & misconceptions for our audience. Learn more about Dr. Shanker here

Q: Is weight loss surgery like taking the easy way out?

A: Well, that's a myth because weight loss surgery is just a tool for someone to use to help them achieve the weight targets that they want to achieve. So like any other tool, it works depending on how you learn to use it. You need to understand how it works and the amount of effort and commitment that you put into it.

Q: People with obesity are just lazy people with no will power. Is that correct?

A: No. Obesity is actually a condition that is pretty much programmed in our genes. That's the ‘nature’ aspect of obesity. Our interaction with the environment is also a part of it; how we respond to the different conveniences, foods, and lifestyles available to us in a particular environment that we live in. That is the ‘nurture’ aspect. So, obesity is a very complex condition defined by ‘nature’ as well as ‘nurture’.

Q: No fat or fat-free foods are better options for me to lose weight?

A: That's definitely a myth. Even if you go on a low-fat or fat-free diet, you will end up consuming your calories from somewhere else, as an exchange of one food type for another. The most important rule for someone who's trying to lose weight is to get used to eating small food portions. That's the real way that you will be able to take control of your weight.