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Weight Loss Surgery and Enjoyment

Enjoyment of Healthy Eating and Exercise May Be Key to Continued Weight Maintenance Two Years after Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

Enjoyment of Healthy Eating and Exercise May Be Key to Continued Weight Maintenance Two Years after Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

2 years after weight loss surgery, those who enjoy healthy eating and exercise met weight goals

Those who sought support for maintaining a healthy lifestyle post-surgery continue to meet their health goals 5 years down the road

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Vuorinen, Anna-Leena, Michal Ann Strahilevitz, Brian Wansink and Debra Safter (2016). The Enjoyment of Healthy and Unhealthy Behaviors in Short and Long Term Weight Loss Success. Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care, doi: 10.1089/bari.2016.0036

Bariatric surgery can slim your body, but attitude and behavior also play key roles in long term weight loss.

“Although very effective, bariatric surgery is a not a low-effort means of losing weight. Individuals undergo invasive surgery and are required to follow strict diet in order to ensure sustained weight loss and to prevent complications,” explains lead author Anna-Leena Vuorinen of VTT Technical Research Center for Finland, “but the key to meeting weight loss objectives, might be in learning to enjoy healthy eating and exercise.”

The team of researchers from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Duke, Stanford, and Cornell Universities surveyed 475 people, mostly women, at least one year after surgery to see how their enjoyment of health related behaviors had changed after the procedure and how enjoyment related to weight loss success. They found that 2 years after surgery, those who reported increased enjoyment of exercise and eating healthy foods also were more likely to meet weight loss goals. Furthermore, those who sought support from therapists, nutritionists or personal trainers continued to achieve weight goals five years after surgery.

Most patients who go through a bariatric surgery do lose a significant amount of weight during the first two years. The challenge is to keep the weight off. For this, enjoyment of healthy behaviors seems to play a role. “If you don’t enjoy healthy eating or exercising, seeking the support of a health professional might change your mind and keep you on track with your weight loss goals years down the road,” suggests co-author Brian Wansink, PhD, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design.

The findings of this study authored by Anna-Leena Vuorinen of VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, Michal Ann Strahilevitz, PhD, Duke University, Brian Wansink, PhD, Cornell University and Debra Safer, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, are published in Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care.