For those who are clinically obese, weight loss surgery works better than diet, fitness, behavioral therapy or even medications, according to a new study reported in Bloomberg on October 22. And the difference is dramatic.
Obese individuals who opted for weight loss surgeries lost an average of 57 pounds more than those who chose non-surgical treatments. The study evaluated the weight loss success of individuals two years after the treatment began.
It's a significant boost to proponents of weight loss surgery. In addition, the study may motivate obese individuals previously hesitant to re-consider the merits of surgery.
When people contemplate leading causes of death, they typically think of cancer, heart attacks and cancer. However, an estimated 2.8 million people die each year from being overweight or obese, which raises risks of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
“This meta-analysis provides comprehensive evidence that, compared with non-surgical treatment of obesity, bariatric surgery leads to greater body weight loss,” stated the authors at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland. “The evidence beyond two years of follow-up, in particular on adverse events, cardiovascular diseases and mortality remains unclear.”
In addition, surgery resulted in higher remission rates of type 2 diabetes. However, it did have side effects, ranging from diarrhea to anemia.
A frequent question about weight loss surgery: What about the cost?
Diet and exercise weigh in as more cost-effective remedies, agree the researchers. The problem: Most people regain the weight. An estimated two-thirds of those on diets gain more weight than they lost in four to five years, based on an analysis of 31 long-term studies on dieting by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles.
But not everyone who wants to lose weight is considered a good candidate.The guidelines stipulate that weight loss surgery can be considered if people have a body mass index of 40 or more or have an obesity-related disease plus a BMI of 35.