Got Stapled? Hit the Treadmill!

January 20th, 2009 | Sources: Int. J. Obesity, TJOLS

Is Oprah’s weight up or down this month and really, is it possible to lose a lot of weight and keep it off for years without bariatric surgery?

It’s up—much to the dismay of the army she retains to keep it down—but maybe she needs guru replacement surgery because the results of a study in the International Journal of Obesity suggest that behavioral modifications involving diet and exercise can indeed cause sustained weight loss.

“Our findings suggest that it’s possible to maintain large weight losses through intensive behavioral efforts…regardless of whether you lost weight with bariatric surgery or through non-surgical methods,” concluded Dale Bond, the study’s lead author.
Bond is director of the Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Miriam Hospital.
Bond’s study matched bariatric surgical patients with those who went the behavior mod route. The 315 participants had lost 124 pounds on average and had maintained the lower weight for 5.5 years before the study began.

During the 2-year follow-up, the scientists found no difference between the groups in caloric intake or the amount of weight regained, which was about 4 pounds per year.
However bariatric patients consumed more fat and fast food and reported less conscious control over food intake. They also had an increased risk of depression and reported higher stress than the behavioral group.

Only a third of the bariatric patients engaged in physical activity whereas 60% of those in the non-surgical group did.
 “These findings underscore the need for eating and activity interventions focused on bariatric surgery patients,” Bond, told TJOLS. “Future research should focus on ways to increase and maintain physical activity and better monitor psychological parameters in bariatric surgery patients.”


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