Is weight loss surgery a quick fix?
Society often stigmatises bariatric surgery as “the easy way out”, and infers that obesity is the fault of the individual. Research, on the other hand, shows that obesity is a disease and is caused by multifactorial influences including:
- Biological (genetics, medication, disease)
- Environmental (access to transport, density of healthy and processed food outlets, workplace physical inactivity)
- Social (cultural norms, socioeconomic status, education and skill)
- Economic (advertising, costs, income)
- Psychological (stress, body image, self-esteem, pleasure drive)
- Behavioural (diet, exercise, alcohol)
Bariatric Surgery and Weight Loss
Bariatric surgery is considered to be one of the most effective treatments for overweight, obese and morbidly obese patients, as well as for obesity-related comorbidities. These comorbidities include hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, sleep apnoea, fatty liver, reflux / heartburn, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and more.
It works by using a restrictive and/or malabsorptive technique.
The primary aim of bariatric surgery is to allow you to feel satisfied after eating a small amount of food, thus reducing your overall energy intake and resulting in weight loss.
The past two decades have seen a significant rise in the number of bariatric and weight loss surgeries performed.
This trend is likely to continue due to the epidemic of obesity around the world and its rising prevalence among children and adolescents.
Is Weight Loss Surgery the “Easy Way Out”?
Although bariatric surgery provides the surgical tool for weight loss, it is not a quick fix or magic pill.
Sure, weight loss surgery is effective in supporting weight loss, but long-term success always depends on lifestyle and dietary changes.
Patients are encouraged to use the surgery as a way to re-learn how to recognise the body’s natural signals of hunger, fullness and satisfaction.
It can also be used to help change your relationship with food.
Long-term health and weight maintenance requires patients to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- Being physically active,
- Making healthy food and beverage choices,
- Supplementing with vitamins and minerals appropriately and adequately,
- Getting blood tests done regularly,
- Practicing healthy eating behaviours (chewing slowly, having regular meals and snacks, separating food and fluids adequately, following to the recommended portion sizes),
- Having a social support network,
- Staying in touch with their healthcare professional team (GP, Dietitian, Psychologist, Exercise Physiologist etc.).
Ultimately, bariatric surgery is a commitment to a new and healthier lifestyle.