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Bariatric surgery proven better for weight loss than diet or exercise

Diet and exercise have always been the recommended go-to weight-loss methods for many years.

Updated: January 5, 2021
bariatric surgery studies
By MBL Featured Blogger: Karen Eisenbraun
Originally Posted: October 5, 2020

Bariatric Surgery Studies


Until recently, though it was always an available option, bariatric surgery was often considered by medical professionals as a last resort for treating weight loss.

Now, studies are showing that weight-loss surgery could be far more effective at reducing excess body weight than the conventional methods of diet and exercise.

For a study published last fall in the journal BMJ, researchers compiled data from 11 different clinical trials that followed nearly 800 adults who were considered obese by medical standards. All patients involved in the study had either undergone weight-loss surgery, or had participated in a non-surgical weight-loss program in the form of diet, exercise, medication, or behavioral therapy.

All patients were followed for a two-year period. After thoroughly examining the medical data, researchers found that those who had undergone weight-loss surgery were far more successful at weight loss, and were able to lose a higher percentage of body weight than patients who had attempted to lose weight through non-surgical methods. Additionally, patients who had undergone weight-loss surgery reported that they had a better quality of life following surgery, and were able to lower their use of medications for type 2 diabetes, joint pain, and other comorbidities associated with being overweight or obese.

The BMJ study was not the first to recognize the long-term effects and success of bariatric surgery. A separate study conducted in 2007 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the popularity of bariatric surgery soared from only 3.3 percent in 1996 to 22.4 percent in 2007. As more and more American patients make the decision to undergo bariatric surgery, experts have noted that type 2 diabetes rates are beginning to show a decline among these patients, as well as other related health problems such as obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.

If you are interested in weight loss surgery, check out MBL’s Ultimate Guide To Weight Loss Surgery.




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Karen Eisenbraun is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and writer with a background in digital marketing. She has written extensively on the topics of nutrition and holistic health for many leading websites.

Karen received her nutrition certification from the American College of Healthcare Sciences in 2012. She follows a ketogenic diet and practices intermittent fasting. Karen advocates a whole foods approach to nutrition and believes in empowering yourself with information that allows you to make smarter decisions about your health.

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