Bariatric Surgery Induces Weight Loss In Obese Family Members

In a fascinating article published by the American College of Surgeons Periodicals, which can be found here it has been found that obese family members of patients undergoing bariatric surgery also show a statistically significant weight loss over a one year period with obese adult family members showed significant weight loss, from a mean of 234 to 226 pounds.

“Previous studies have shown that obesity may be a social contagion and that by associating with obese individuals, a person is more likely to become obese. Our study may demonstrate that bariatric surgery in selected populations can provide a reverse corollary and induce weight loss and healthy behaviors in people surrounding the patient,” Dr. Gavitt A. Woodard said.

What’s not clear or the subject of speculation is what the reason for this contagion may be. Perhaps it doesn’t matter, but lets speculate anyway. What follows are three quotes from the paper:

  • “Patients and family members attended three preoperative educational sessions and five postoperative visits in which lifestyle modification was emphasized.”
  • “A high-protein, high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar diet was recommended for the patients, which advised six small daily meals comprising 200-300 calories and including 4-6 ounces of protein.”
  • “Lifestyle modification included daily goals of increased physical activity (10,000 steps per day), 8 hours of sleep, moderation of alcohol intake, and avoidance of watching more than 2 hours of television.”

Assuming people who were previously classed as obese followed the regime, we think that’d do the job. Add to that the fact that they’re witnessing their loved one going under the knife and the motivation increases dramatically. It’s clear that education alone doesn’t work or there would be no place for bariatric surgery, but maybe this research tells us that peer pressure could become an important component in sub-surgery treatment too.

“Living with a gastric bypass patient and undertaking a structured diet plan along with the patient may have an equivalent effect on weight,” the investigators said (Arch. Surg. 2011;146:1185-90).

But which is the biggest factor or does it require both? Eat less, move more… and live with a person who’s obese enough to require surgery.

Trouble is they may be the reason you came to be obese in the first place.

Source: medlatest staff