Thursday, August 23, 2007

Weight loss surgery study

The US and Sweden have both conducted a long term study to determine the effectiveness of weight loss surgery. The results are in and it appears that the surgeries save lives and produce lasting weight loss. Now that there is support for the proceedures, insurance companies may be more willing to pay for them and the guidelines may be lowered so that more people can be put under the knife. The article is available at

The Swedish study found that the surgery group lost 14 to 25% of their weight compared to 2% from the non-surgery group. The death rate was 5% for the surgery group and 6% for the non surgery group.

The US study took 7,000 plus surgery patients and compared them to the same number of obese people. They found the obese people by looking at height and weight on driver's licenses. After 7 years, 2.6% of the surgery patients were dead compared to 4% of the driver's license people. This study did not look at weight loss.

They also found that people who have the surgeries are more likely to die from accidents, suicide and other non-disease related deaths but they couldn't explain this phenomenom.

Before you sign up for gastric bypass, there are some problems with the studies and with the surgery. So stop and think before you go under.

First, people undergoing weight loss surgeries are given detailed diet instruction months before they go under. They have to prove that they are willing to do what it takes to lose weight before a surgeon will cut them open. These people see a Registered Dietitian on a regular basis months before and months after. You still have to follow a rigid diet after the surgery because the stomach will grow again if you eat too much.

So what the studies are comparing is a group of committed people who have constant support to a group of people who have no support and aren't all that committed. For the study to be really good, they should have given the same diet instruction and support to the non-surgery group.

The US study is a load of crap, pardon my French. They didn't even look at weight loss and they compared the committed and supported people to people who weren't even trying to lose weight and, therefore, most likely had terrrible health habits which would explain the extra deaths.

A very strict low fat diet has to be followed for gastric bypass. After the bypass, you go on a liquid diet and gradually increase diet consistency, but the surgery and lack of nutrition leaves you open to nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies and lack of fat and cholesterol are probably why there are more suicides and accidents in the surgery group. Low fat diets also cause gall bladder disease so you are likely to have to go under the knife again to remove the gall bladder.

A much better and safer way to lose weight is to eat whole, unprocessed foods, limit carbs (72 grams is ideal, but keep it under 120 at least) and eat lots of saturated fat. Get some exercise and limit portion sizes. This way, you get to eat food that actually tastes good, supplies your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and it satisfies so you don't feel hungry again in an hour.

Also, learn to recognize the truth about who you are. You are not what you weigh and your worth as a person has nothing to do with the size of your body. And you don't need to look like the people on magazine covers. They don't even look like that, so stop believing the lies.

You are a beautiful, talented and unique individual who was created by God for a purpose. Focus on your purpose, not your weight.

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