Medical-device makers, venture capitalists and surgeons are racing to turn a once-controversial weight-loss procedure into the next big thing in elective surgery. Once dismissed by some surgeons as a gimmick, gastric banding -- in which a silicone band is wrapped around the upper stomach to restrict food intake -- is now the focus of a fierce competition pitting consumer-products giant Johnson & Johnson against Botox maker Allergan Inc. Venture-capital-backed outpatient centers are popping up to implant the bands. Growing ranks of surgeons are touting the procedure at free public seminars. All see a vast market in a country where diet and exercise programs have failed to slow an obesity epidemic.
Friday, April 4, 2008
How many economists does it take to cure the obestity epidemic?
None--the market will do it.