October 18, 2011
Gastric Bypass Patients Influence Family Members
Researchers found that having an obese family member undergo gastric bypass surgery helps influence other family members to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Researchers observed the weight and lifestyle changes of patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery and their family members.
The study included 85 participants, 35 bariatric surgery patients, 35 adult family members and 15 children.
The team found that the weight loss in patients a year after surgery was typical for those who undergo gastric bypass surgery. However, they also found that family members average weight decreased from 234 pounds to 226 pounds and lost a little over an inch off their waist.
"Family members were able to lose weight comparable to being part of a medically controlled diet simply by accompanying the bariatric surgery patient to their pre- and post-operative visits,” John Morton, MD, MPH, associate professor of surgery at Stanford and director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, said in a press release.
Both patients and adult family members had also seen significant changes in their eating habits, with patients increasing cognitive control of eating while decreasing uncontrolled and emotional eating. Adult family members showed no significant changes in cognitive control of eating, but did show a decrease in uncontrolled eating and emotional eating.
"Obesity is a family health concern," the authors wrote in the JAMA/Archives issue of "Archives of Surgery". "This study demonstrates that performing a gastric bypass operation on one patient has a halo of positive effect on the weight, eating habits, activity level and health behaviors of the entire family."
The study said that 26 percent of American adults and 15 percent of children are considered obese today. Morton said that Stanford surgeons perform about 300 bariatric surgeries each year and over 200,000 are done annually in the U.S.
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