A recent article on LiveScience describes a new study on mice which indicates that aspartame, a popular no calorie sweetener used in most diet soft drinks, may actually prevent weight loss and contribute to a cluster of serious health issues known as metabolic syndrome. Yes, when even the most common diet aids can backfire, it’s more obvious than ever that healthy weight loss is profoundly difficult to achieve without some kind of assistance. Procedures such as the Orbera gastric balloon and bariatric surgeries are, at present, the only methods shown that actually make weight loss more achievable for people with significant weight issues. While every patient’s situation is different, the available options break down in roughly two ways:
Balloon Weight Loss – Individuals who are categorized as obese, but not severely obese, are not currently considered candidates for weight loss surgery. However, a non-surgical procedure known as the Orbera gastric balloon is now FDA approved and available to help people with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40 hold on to their good health. Widely used in Europe, the system involves a special balloon which is placed inside the stomach with the use of an endoscope and which remains there for a six month period. The medical group adds that having the balloon in place, slows digestion and supports appropriate portion control – the key to a successful weight loss. On average, patients using the balloon are able to lose three times as much weight compared to individuals who are trying to lose weight through sheer determination alone.
Bariatric Surgery – Women and men who are categorized as severely obese, meaning they have a BMI of 40 or over, or 35 and over with weight-induced health problems, are often considered candidates for weight loss procedures. Procedures such as a sleeve gastrectomy and a Lap Band have helped countless patients to lose weight and keep it off over the long term. These surgeries work by directly impacting the appetite, allowing patients to eat a great deal less than they are used to but without having to deal with the nagging, hunger-like feelings that sabotage most weight loss efforts.