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Want To Lose More Pounds? Make Weight Loss Surgery a Family Affair

A recent study reveals that people who have weight loss surgery get better results when they go through the process together with someone in the family, rather than trying to stick it out alone.

The patients in the study were a group of 91 patients, from 41 families, who decided to have gastric bypass surgery with a family member. Relatives included in the study were husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, cousins, grandparents and grandchildren, in-laws, aunts and uncles, and nephews or nieces. The progress of this group was compared to a control group made up of people of similar age, gender, and body mass index (BMI).

The results showed, unquestionably, that results in terms of pounds lost, rate of weight loss, and lessening or elimination of diseases associated with obesity, were better when two family members went through the struggles side by side rather than individually.

Some of the most significant information revealed in the first year following the surgeries showed that:

  • The average weight loss for family members who had surgeries together was 30% higher than for people who had surgery on their own
  • Siblings who went in for weight loss surgery together reported even higher levels of weight loss, some 40% more than their individual counterparts
  • 65% of family members resolved issues with Type 2 diabetes, compared with 31% of the control group
  • 60% of family members saw their hypertension cured, compared with 33% of the control group
  • 70% of family members were cured of sleep apnea, compared with 23% of the control group
  • 63% of family members resolved GERD problems compared with 41% of the control group


The lead researcher in the study noted that the dynamics between family members cannot be underestimated when it comes to successful weight loss. Sibling rivalry, for example, can compel people to reach greater heights, just as the support of family members can help people to get through challenging weight loss issues more easily, and can encourage patients to accept new and unfamiliar dietary habits.

Another reason for the improved results seen in weight loss involving family members may be due to the greater likelihood that family members can be especially effective in helping each other stick to rules and seek proper follow-up care.
For example:
  • Six months after surgery, 89% of family members were keeping their appointments with their doctor, compared to 81% of the control group.
  • By one year after surgery, 83% of family members were faithfully keeping appointments, compared to just 58% of the control group.

Ultimately, the study showed, family plays an incomparable role in supporting each other during weight loss programs, especially during the important phase of follow-up care. Family members can help each other stick to required diets following surgery, and make sure they stay motivated through the challenging lifestyle changes that go hand in hand with bariatric surgery.


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