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It was first performed on a series of patients at White Memorial Hospital, Los Angeles, California, in the mid- to late-1970s. Patients admitted to the program had to meet all of the following requirements:
- They must have been diagnosed as "morbidly obese"'
- They must have had a lifelong history of conventional forms of dieting, all of which failed, and
- They must have passed a series of psychological tests to show that both:
- there was no psychosomatic basis for their condition, and
- they were mentally stable enough to accept the consequences of a life-changing surgery.
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