Three recent articles about weight loss and bariatric surgery provide an update for psychologists and therapists who work with people struggling with excessive weight and making behavioral changes to reduce their health risk factors.

The New York Times published “Why Weight Loss Surgery Works When Diets Don’t” on Feb. 13. It is written by Jane Brody, superb health journalist (and who background includes 2 years as a reporter in MN), it is an excellent summary of the current science in support of weight loss surgery, and could be a helpful resource to provide to patients with excessive weight who are considering bariatric surgery.

The New England Journal of Medicine published this study (forwarded courtesy of Ken Pope’s prolific psychology posting service), “Bariatric Surgery versus Intensive Medical Therapy for Diabetes – 5-Year Outcomes.”

To cut to the chase:

Quality of life measures (higher scores indicate higher quality of health):

Gastric bypass +intensive medical therapy – 17

Sleeve gastrectomy + intensive medical therapy – 16

Intensive medical therapy only – 0.3

And, from the article:

CONCLUSIONS:  Five-year outcome data showed that, among patients with type 2 diabetes and a BMI of 27 to 43, bariatric surgery plus intensive medical therapy was more effective than intensive medical therapy alone in decreasing, or in some cases resolving, hyperglycemia.

The New York Times published “Are Fat Cells Forever?” on 2-17-17.  The brief article reviews research about fat, including recent findings about how fat cells release hormones that promote hunger after weight loss.

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