The Fat Factor

ByABC News
November 22, 2005, 8:19 PM

Nov. 24, 2005 — -- As you kick off your holiday season with a feast, "20/20" offers some motivation, inspiration and information on medical breakthoughs in the fight against fat. We'll talk with to two famous women who have struggled publicly with the scale for years -- Wynonna Judd and Carnie Wilson -- to see how they're maintaining their weight loss today.

Judd shares her highs and lows, describing her tumultuous relationship with her mother, a bitter divorce, depression -- and her lifelong battle with weight. It wasn't until she got a call from her doctor that her cholesterol was dangerously high that she realized she had a serious problem with her weight and what she describes as an addiction to food.

"We can be in denial. I didn't have a lot of mirrors around my house. I just kept, you know, getting clothes bigger… but I am as addicted to it as someone trying to come off a drug," she tells Elizabeth Vargas. Judd also tells Vargas why she chose not to have gastric bypass surgery, and also says why she needed to lose the weight: "I would like to be able to tie my shoes without holding my breath. Everybody thinks, that's really funny, but the fact is it's the little things."

Dr. Tim Johnson reports on a high-tech, low-risk treatment for weight loss that shocks dieters into feeling full after eating just a few bites. Dr. Scott Shikora of Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston says the procedure -- attaching pacemakers like ones commonly used to treat heart problems to the stomachs of obese patients -- is a "great breakthrough," and far less drastic than gastric bypass.

Wilson has been fighting her obesity her entire life and became the so-called "poster child" of gastric bypass surgery when she had the risky procedure six years ago. She talks candidly to Deborah Roberts about her latest challenge: losing the 70 pounds she gained during her recent pregnancy.

From her youngest days, Cristie Kerr was a golf prodigy, even called the "female Tiger Woods" by some. As she hit the great shots that marked her as a golf star of the future, however, Kerr knew she was obese. "When you're kind of overweight, and you've always been overweight, and your family's overweight, you kind of think, 'Well, I'm big-boned.'" So how did she go from 180 pounds to a size 2 -- and keep the weight off? And how did the weight loss transform her golf game? Chris Connelly reports.

Can controlling the flavor of your food help you lose weight? ABC News' contributing medical correspondent Dr. David Katz says when it comes to flavor, variety is the death of a diet. "The concept is very, very simple. An excess of flavor variety over-stimulates the appetite center in the brain," he says. To test Dr. Katz' Flavor Point Diet, we enlist and follow three dieters. Bill Ritter reports on the results.