Keeping the weight off: Which obesity treatment is most successful?

Dec 08, 2008

Severely obese patients who have lost significant amounts of weight by changing their diet and exercise habits may be as successful in keeping the weight off long-term as those individuals who lost weight after bariatric surgery, according to a new study published online by the International Journal of Obesity.

While weight loss and maintenance were comparable between the two treatments, patients who relied on non-surgical methods had to work harder over a longer duration to maintain their weight losses, say researchers from The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.

"Our findings suggest that its possible to maintain large weight losses through intensive behavioral efforts, such as changing your approach to eating and exercise, regardless of whether you lost weight with bariatric surgery or through non-surgical methods," says lead author Dale Bond, PhD, of The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. "Behavioral modifications and lifestyle changes are critical components to long-term weight loss maintenance."

Researchers matched each surgical patient with two non-surgical patients through the National Weight Control Registry. All participants – 315 total – lost an average of 124 lbs and had maintained their weight loss for an average of 5.5 years at the beginning of this two-year study.

Individuals were surveyed at both the start of the study and at the one-year follow-up about weight-maintenance behaviors (including food records and physical activity levels) and various psychological factors (such as dietary restraint, feelings of hunger and food cravings, stress and depression). Weight-related information was collected at both the one- and two-year follow-up.

There were no significant differences in the caloric intake or the amount of weight regain between the surgical and non-surgical groups; both regained an average of about four lbs. each year. However, researchers identified behavioral differences between the two groups, with bariatric patients reporting greater fat and fast food consumption, less conscious control over their eating and higher incidences of depression and more stress than non-surgical patients.

Similar differences were observed with physical activity behaviors. Only one-third of the surgical group reported engaging in a level of physical activity consistent with recommendations for preventing weight regain compared with 60 percent of the non-surgical group.

The researchers note that susceptibility to cues that trigger impulsive overeating was the only behavior associated with a greater risk of weight regain in both groups.

"These findings underscore the need for eating and activity interventions focused on bariatric surgery patients," says Bond, who is also a research fellow in psychiatry (weight control) at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. "Future research should focus on ways to increase and maintain physical activity and better monitor psychological parameters in bariatric surgery patients to facilitate optimal long-term weight control."

Source: Lifespan

Explore further: Diuretics in proton pump inhibitor-associated hypomagnesemia

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gastric bypass surgery increases risk of kidney stones

Mar 10, 2010

March 11, 2010 - Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery experience changes in their urine composition that increase their risk of developing kidney stones, research from UT Southwestern Medical Center investigators suggests.

Battling a biceps injury

Mar 03, 2010

People who suffer from injuries to the distal biceps tendon may benefit from earlier surgical intervention and new surgical techniques, according to a review article published in the March 2010 issue of the Journal of th ...

Questions remain on bariatric surgery for adolescents

Feb 09, 2010

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery can effectively treat obesity in adolescents and seems to offer a better alternative than gastric bypass surgery, but further study is needed to determine whether it's better ...

Brain molecule reduces food intake

Jun 10, 2009

Researchers at Imperial College London have identified a new appetite suppressant for promoting weight loss that they say works in rodents and may one day be used to develop an effective anti-obesity treatment.

Recommended for you

Africa's uneven health care becomes easy prey for Ebola

7 hours ago

Threatened by the possible spread of an Ebola epidemic which respects no borders, Africa is divided between a handful of countries equipped to withstand an outbreak and many more which would be devastated, experts say.

Ebola case stokes concerns for Liberians in Texas

7 hours ago

The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. has been confirmed in a man who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas, sending chills through the area's West African community whose leaders urged caution ...

Is Australia prepared for Ebola?

11 hours ago

Australia needs to be proactive about potential disease outbreaks like Ebola and establish a national centre for disease control.

User comments : 0