Ginevra Tamberi, a 21-year-old film studies student from Rome, has very tall, very skinny parents. Her brother can eat 4,000 calories a day and remains one of nature's giraffes. But Ginevra is not so lucky. She eats one slice of bread and it goes down her throat and directly on to her bum.
Ginevra tried everything: the Aktins diet, the Dukan diet, the Scarsdale diet, the Zone diet, the cabbage diet, the onion diet. She saw a private nutritionist and a personal trainer. All to no avail.
In desperation she visited the plastic surgeon Marco Gasparotti. Ginevra says, "Everybody in Rome knows Gasparotti." And everybody does, too: you cannot throw a brick in Italy and not hit Dr Gasparotti demonstrating his innovative techniques on some TV chat show. Ginevra went to Gasparotti for liposuction. Instead, Gasparotti had another, better trick up his sleeve: his new Diet Tube. A week later, after some medical tests, Ginevra returned to Gasparotti's clinic and she came out with a piece of plastic tubing sticking out of her nose. One end of the tube went down into her stomach, the other was attached to a small electric pump. Apart from this, there are other solutions also.
The main options that many have used are: gastric band, gastric balloon, gastric bypass and the relatively new gastric sleeve.
But why people resort to such measure is entirely personal.
Alberic Fiennes, president of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society, says: “There is a moral stigma to obesity." Continues Fiennes: “These people are seen as weak, and stupid and greedy. But obesity is a disease.”
Even as many battle out this so-called disease, Gasparotti is busy in helping others in getting that desired figure.