Those who are severely overweight may turn to diet and exercise to rid themselves of the extra pounds. However, once an individual is considered obese, he or she may have better success with weight loss surgery. It's important that patients who undergo these procedures be aware of the related risks and benefits. Sometimes, it can be a struggle to keep the weight off after recovery.
The surprising evidence
Researcher Viktoria Gloy from the University Hospital Basel lead a group of medical professionals on the review of randomized controlled trials to find out the best method for treating obesity: bariatric surgery or nonsurgical treatment such as diet and exercise.1 The data used had to include information that was collected from trials that had follow-ups after six or more months. Additionally, participants had to have a body mass index that was equal to or greater than 30. Collected information included body weight, cardiovascular risk factors, quality of life and other adverse events.
Based on a review of all this collected data, researchers found that bariatric surgery led to greater body weight loss, in addition to greater admission rates of Type 2 diabetes – a common side effect of obesity. This indicates that surgical procedures may be a better option for someone who is looking to overcome obesity. However, the authors of the study would like to conduct further investigations to better monitor and adverse events, developments of cardiovascular disease and mortality rates among the surgical group of participants.2
There are a number of causes to obesity, but most can be overcome. However, those who suffer from certain medical issues or are taking some medications, may have a more difficult time due to increased risk. Before weight gain becomes a problem – and leads to obesity – people should try to prevent it by:
- Tracking their weight on a regular basis. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people struggling with size get on the scale at least once per week.3 This is a great way to track ups and downs, and it can act as a motivator.
- Recognizing situations that cause them to overeat, and avoiding those situations. The winter months, family gatherings and the holidays are all key times when people eat more, and that should be monitored. But there may be day-to-day goings-on that lead to eating too much, such as stress at work.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise. This is key to the health of all individuals, but should be at the forefront of someone's attention who struggles with overeating and keeping a reasonable weight. In some cases, it may be best to talk to a professional about creating a routine that helps with an individual's specific needs.
1 BMJ, "Bariatric surgery versus non-surgical treatment for obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials" October 22, 2013
2 Medical News Today, "Weight loss surgery 'more effective than diet and exercise'" October 23, 2013
3 Mayo Clinic, "Obesity: Prevention" June 7, 2013