"You all believe that losing one-hundred-plus pounds will solve everything, but it won't. Something far heavier is weighing on you, and until you deal with that, nothing in your lives will be right."
–Betsy Glass, PhD, at first weekly group counseling session for ten severely obese teens admitted into exclusive weight-loss surgery trial
Patient #1: Female, age 16, 5'4", 288 lbs.
-Thrust into size-zero suburban hell by remarried liposuctioned mom. Hates new school and skinny boy-toy stepsister.
-Body size exceeded only by her big mouth.
Patient #2: Male, age 16, 6'2", 335 lbs.
-All-star football player, but if he gets "girl surgery," as his dad calls it, he'll probably get benched.
-Has moobies—male boobies. Forget about losing his V-card—he's never even been kissed.
Patient #3: Female, age 15, 5'6", 278 lbs.
-Morbidly obese and morbid, living alone with severely depressed mother who won't leave her bed.
-Best and only friend is another patient, whose dark secret threatens everything Patient #3 believes about life.
Told in the voices of patients Marcie Mandlebaum, Bobby Konopka, and Annie "East" Itou, Teenage Waistland is a story of betrayal, intervention, a life-altering operation, and how a long-buried truth can prove far more devastating than the layers of fat that protect it.
Contains an afterword by Jeffrey L. Zitsman, MD, director of the Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital