7 Famous People Who Have Had Weight Loss Surgery

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Allison Firestone on October 8, 2020
  • weight-scale
    Going Public With a Personal Decision
    With more than one-third of Americans facing obesity, weight loss surgeries in the United States are on the rise. High-profile people are opting for it, too: Sharon Osbourne, Al Roker and Chris Christie are among those who have publicly discussed going under the knife to lose weight. But, as many are quick to point out, the work doesn’t end when the surgery is over. See what these seven public figures have shared about choosing to have bariatric surgery and how their lives changed after the procedure.
  • roseanne-barr
    1. Roseanne Barr
    Barr has openly discussed her gastric bypass in the press. This procedure reduces the capacity of your stomach by stapling it into two parts so it holds only about an ounce of food. The food you eat flows into the smaller part of your stomach, and your small intestine is re-attached to that, bypassing the rest of your stomach. Since surgery, Roseanne has joked about having her digestive system removed and, as her weight has fluctuated, discussed how she learned to stay slim with healthy foods and regular activity.
  • randy-jackson
    2. Randy Jackson
    After years of dieting, Jackson’s final push to get gastric bypass was a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. The TV personality has said the surgery worked for him, but cautions others that it means a complete lifestyle overhaul. “It’s not easy, and it’s a continued struggle,” he told NBC in 2008. After surgery, Jackson regained some weight, and he’s since emphasized that he’s been able to lose pounds and keep them off by focusing on healthier foods and keeping a regular workout routine.
  • sharon-osbourne
    3. Sharon Osbourne
    Osbourne underwent gastric band surgery, a procedure that uses a band to create a small pouch in your stomach, which limits the amount of food you can store and makes you feel full after eating only small amounts. After the procedure, Osbourne shared that she would often vomit after eating. Post-surgery, if you try to eat more than your now-smaller stomach can hold, your body regurgitates the food. Osbourne said her struggle with this issue led to the realization that her problem was a food addiction. She had the band removed, and says she now maintains her weight with a low-carb diet.
  • star-jones
    4. Star Jones
    Jones went public about her gastric bypass in an essay for Glamour magazine. In it, the lawyer-turned-television-personality said she felt ashamed of not being able to control her weight, and that she remained unhappy after the procedure. Despite her drastic weight loss, she wrote that her real breakthrough came when she started working with a psychotherapist, addressing the control issues behind her eating. “The recovery doesn’t end when you come off anesthesia—that’s when the real work begins,” she wrote.
  • al-roker
    5. Al Roker
    After decades of binging and dieting, Roker decided to undergo gastric bypass in 2002. But, after the initial post-surgery weight loss, the “Today” weatherman started to regain weight. He has since said he believes he should have attended a support group for post-surgery patients, in addition to therapy, to address his underlying food issues. Roker has said he had to completely change his outlook on eating to keep the weight off—shifting from a diet mentality to focusing on long-term lifestyle changes.
  • rosie-odonnell
    6. Rosie O’Donnell
    O’Donnell has said she decided on vertical gastric sleeve surgery after having a heart attack. The procedure removes about 80% of your stomach, leaving the rest in a banana-shaped pouch. Since the procedure, O’Donnell has been forthcoming about the post-surgery personal work she has had to do. “All of the stuff that you carry with you as a heavy person in the world will still be there when you’re a thin person,” she told “The Dr. Oz Show.”
  • chris-christie
    7. Chris Christie
    Christie had gastric band surgery and—while he hasn’t said a lot publicly about having the procedure—he told Matt Lauer on “Today” it was one of best things he’s done for his health, and he regrets not doing it sooner. The politician also talked about his choice to have the operation in an interview with Politico, saying he believes weight issues are “the only still-acceptable form of discrimination in our country.”
7 Famous People Who Have Had Weight Loss Surgery
Allison Firestone
  1. A Stormy Relationship with the Scale: An Interview with Al Roker. U.S. News & World Report. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/02/07/al-rokers-gastric-bypass-and-weight-lo...
  2. Chris Christie Clarifies Weight Loss Story, Says only Figure Cited was Inaccurate. NJ.com. http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/09/chris_christie_clarifies_weight_loss_story_says_only_fi...
  3. Chris Christie Talks Lap Band Surgery—and Those Presidential Rumors. People. http://www.people.com/article/chris-christie-lap-band-surgery-presidential-run-today-show
  4. Christie: Surgery Not Political. Politico. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/brzezinski-lauds-christies-surgery-091166
  5. Expert Panel on Weight Loss Surgery: Executive Report Update. Obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19396063?_ga=1.167891941.555328682.1470701588
  6. Gastric Bypass Surgery. MedlinePlus: US Library of Medicine
  7. Gastric Sleeve. UCLA Center for Obesity and METabolic Health. http://bariatrics.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=95
  8. Hollywood’s Biggest Losers: Star Weight-Loss Transformations. ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/hollywoods-biggest-losers-star-weight-loss-transformations/story...
  9. Jackson R. Body with Soul: Slash Sugar, Cut Cholesterol, and Get a Jump on Your Best Health Ever. New York, NY: Hudson Street Press; 2008.
  10. Laparoscopic Gastric Banding. MedlinePlus: US Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007388.htm
  11. New Procedure Estimates for Bariatric Surgery: What the Numbers Reveal. Connect: American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. http://connect.asmbs.org/may-2014-bariatric-surgery-growth.html
  12. Overweight and Obesity Statistics. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.a...
  13. Rosanne Barr Reveals her “Revolutionary” Diet: “You Eat Less and Move More” Today. http://www.today.com/popculture/roseanne-barr-reveals-her-revolutionary-diet-you-eat-less-move-2D797...
  14. Rosie O’Donnell and Other Extreme Diet Stars. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/rosie-odonnell-extreme-diet-stars-weight-loss-surgery/story?id=23384193
  15. Rosie O’Donnell: Life After Weight Loss Surgery. The Dr. Oz Show. http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/rosie-o-donnell-life-after-weight-loss-surgery
  16. Sharon Osbourne: “I Felt Like Such a Cheat” After Weight Loss Surgery. Us Weekly. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/sharon-osbourne-i-felt-like-such-a-cheat-after-weight-...
  17. Sharon Osbourne Opens Up About Feeling Like a “Cheat” After Gastric Bypass Surgery. NY Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/sharon-osbourne-felt-cheat-gastric-bypass-surgery-ar...
  18. Star Jones Reynolds on Gastric Bypass Surgery: I’m Ready to Open Up. Glamour Magazine. http://www.glamour.com/story/star-jones-weight
  19. Rosanne Barr Weight Loss: Star Takes to Twitter to Thanks Fan for Support after She Debuts New Slimline Figure. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/04/10/roseanne-barr-weight-loss-diet-pictures_n_5126112.html
  20. What Chris Christie said About his Weight Loss. NJ.com. http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/what_chris_christie_said_about_his_weight_loss_sur.html
  21. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Journal of the American College of Cariodology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24239920?_ga=1.167891941.555328682.1470701588
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Oct 8
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