Obese Family Members of Bariatric-Surgery Patients Lose Weight, Too - Wall Street Journal (blog)

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If you're obese and live with someone who goes through weight-loss surgery, you, too, may lose a few pounds.

That apparent halo effect was seen in a small study by Stanford University researchers, who found that obese adult family members of gastric-bypass patients lost about 3.4% of their body weight on average — results comparable to what you'd see in structured diet programs, researchers said.

"Even modest weight loss can engender a lot of health benefits," says John Morton, a study author and associate professor and director of bariatric surgery and surgical quality at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The study looked at 35 patients, 35 adult family members and 15 children both before and a year after the patient had gastric-bypass surgery. Before the surgery, 60% of the adult family members and 73% of the kids of surgery patients were also obese.

Adult family members who weren't obese didn't lose a significant amount of weight. As for obese kids, researchers said their body mass indexes were lower than would have been predicted by their previous weight gain. Those kids were also more likely to be on a diet a year after a parent had the surgery.

Regardless of whether they were overweight, family members of bypass-surgery patients reported being more active after the surgery.

The study found that the patient who had the surgery primarily bought and prepared food for the family. That, says Morton, was likely a key factor in weight loss among family members.

Family members participating in the study also received the same counseling about diet and lifestyle that the patient received. That's not standard practice, says Morton, but the results seen in this study "make me think there's a way to extend the benefits" of the surgery. "Obesity is really a family disease," he says. Providing everyone with the same information about healthful eating and lifestyle can help create "a mutual support system," he says.

The study appears in the Archives of Surgery.

Image: iStockphoto

18 Oct, 2011

Source: http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNEv6Yayc6Ac6bevj0zeBIGGGVPo1g&url=http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2011/10/17/obese-family-members-of-bariatric-surgery-patients-lose-weight-too/?mod=google_news_blog
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