For obese, weight loss surgery more effective than diet
Medical professionals usually emphasize the importance of diet and exercise in maintaining a healthy weight, but for those who are obese, a new study published in BMJ suggests that weight-loss surgery is more effective at reducing body weight.
Researchers also found that weight-loss surgery increases remission rates of type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome in obese patients.
There are three techniques for weight-loss surgery, or bariatric surgery. Gastric banding is a surgical band that fits around the stomach and reduces the amount of food a person needs to feel full. Gastric bypass reroutes the digestive system past the stomach, and a sleeve gastrectomy removes a portion of the stomach.
Researchers analyzed data from 11 randomized controlled trials with 796 obese adults with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 52. Some of the patients were assigned to bariatric surgery, while others were given non-surgical treatments, such as behavioral therapy, dietary changes, exercise and the use of weight-loss medication. Researchers followed up with the patients over two years.
Results showed that those who had the bariatric surgery lost more body weight and had higher rates of remission for type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, compared to those who followed non-surgical methods.
The bariatric patients also showed greater improvements in quality of life, showed lower medication use and an improved blood lipid profile, compared to the non-surgical patients.
Researchers say studies beyond the two year follow-up are necessary to monitor any adverse events, such as cardiovascular disease and mortality rates.