Post Op Assessments Aid Weight Loss

Researchers from the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, ND have published a paper on their study which assessed how certain weight control practices and eating behaviours can significantly influence the amount of weight loss after surgery.

The paper titled, “Postoperative Behavioural Variables and Weight Changes 3 Years After Bariatric Surgery”, was published in the well-respected JAMA Surgery and suggested that the utility of programmes to modify problematic eating behaviours and eating patterns should be addressed in research.

“The results of this study suggest that certain behaviours, many of which are modifiable, are associated with weight loss differences of significant impact in patients undergoing the gastric bypass or the adjustable gastric band”, the authors write. “The magnitude of this difference is large and clinically meaningful. In particular, the data suggest that developing positive changes in behaviour, including ceasing negative behaviours, can affect the amount of weight loss”.

Weight loss surgery has been proven to induce weight loss but the amount of weight loss that patients achieves varies. In the past, research has been focussed on pre-operative factors and post-operative predictors of weight loss have not been thoroughly researched. The aim of this study was to examine post-operative eating behaviours and weight control, and their effects on change in weight among adults undergoing their first time weight loss procedure.

Behaviours studied were divided into those that were never present, those who were always present and those that underwent a healthy change after surgery (development of a positive behaviour or omission of a negative behaviour).

The study included a total of 2,022 participants, 1,513 underwent the gastric bypass and 509 had the gastric band procedure. The researchers found that the three behaviours that predicted a patient to lose an average of 39% of their baseline weight, which is about 14% greater weight loss compared with patients who made no positive changes in these behaviours, and 6% greater weight loss compared with patients who always reported positively and attended follow up were:

No 1 – Weekly self-weighing

No 2- Stopping eating when feeling satisfied

No 3 – Stopping eating continuously during the day (grazing)

The outcomes suggest that structured programmes to modify problematic eating behaviours and eating patterns following surgery should be evaluated to improve weight loss outcomes which means that the post-operative period requires more targeting from the healthcare professionals to ensure success.

Title: Postoperative Behavioural Variables and Weight Change 3 Years After Bariatric Surgery

Authors: James E. Mitchell, MD; Nicholas J. Christian, PhD; David R. Flum, MD, MPH; Alfons Pomp, MD; Walter J. Pories, MD; Bruce M. Wolfe, MD; Anita P. Courcoulas, MD, MPH; Steven H. Belle, PhD, MScHyg

Reference: JAMA Surg. Published online April 20, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.0395