Behavior Modification and Weight Loss Surgery Equally Effective

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Behavior Modification and Weight Loss Surgery Equally Effective

A new study published in the International Journal of Obesity shows that people who lose weight by adopting healthy diet and exercise habits can keep it off over the long-term just as well as those who have bariatric surgery.

The two-year study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, compared the lifestyles of a group of 315 obese patients, each of whom had lost and kept off an average of 124 pounds – some by behavior modification, some by weight loss surgery – and kept it off an average of five-and-a-half years. At the beginning of the study, researchers assessed each patient’s weight, along with his or her food intake, activity level, and psychological factors, like depression, then measured each of the markers one year later and at the end of the study.

Interestingly, the researchers found no significant differences in the amount of calories that each group took in, or the amount of weight they regained over the two year period.  However, the bariatric surgery patients had eaten more fat and more fast food than the non-surgical patients.

They also reported less conscious control over their eating and higher incidences of depression and stress.

And, only one-third of the surgical group reported engaging in the recommended level of physical activity, compared with 60 percent of the non-surgical group.

Doctors concluded that no matter how you lose the weight, good diet, physical activity, and psychological health are important parts of your recovery process. So guys, even if you’ve dropped the pounds, it’s important that you still go to the gym to keep your heart healthy, and that you stay plugged in with your doctor and a local support group.

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