An article published July 31st on Medpage Today surveyed the opinions of several medical professionals around the country who have an interest in obesity and weight loss. From their responses, the author drafted several overarching ideas relating to weight loss and which existing treatments give patients the best chance for losing a significant amount of excess weight and keeping it off in the long term. Three of these comments in particular correctly explain the challenges and options faced by obese patients aiming to lose weight:
- “Patient Specific Treatment” – One of the things that the author concentrated on is the wide variety of existing products and treatments that claim to help patients lose weight. As with any medical problem, differences between each patient may necessitate a different approach to achieve the best results. While many weight loss plans and options exist, only bariatric procedures such as a gastric band or gastric sleeve have been shown time and time again to help patients lose weight.
- “No Magic Pill” – What’s equally important to realize is that all of the pharmaceutical and faddish nutraceutical alternatives that are propped up next to weight loss surgery are not effective methods of achieving long-term results. One of the comments highlighted by the article specifically explains that, because weight control is a lifelong problem, approaching it from a pharmaceutical standpoint often means that any pill-regimen would require a long-term commitment with possibly unknown side-effects.
- “Long Term Problem” – Because many methods of weight loss surgery are permanent, a bariatric approach is often the best method for ensuring that the excess weight does not come back as soon as it is lost. While some methods like the Lap Band do require check-ups to ensure that the band is working properly, and can be removed or adjusted if it is not. Others, including the sleeve gastrectomy, are entirely permanent.
While no single procedure is right for every patient, weight loss surgery as a whole has been shown help obese patients shed their excess weight at rates far exceeding new fad techniques and even traditional diet and exercise unsupported by surgery.