Published January 08, 2017             

The following is a summary/brief analysis of the obesity and surgery stories making news this week:

Maine Governor Says Bariatric Surgery Improved His Quality of Life…Rethinking Acid Reflux Treatment After Bariatric Surgery…Strategies for Long-Term Weight Loss Success with Diet and Exercises…Low Rates of Three Major Complications After Bariatric Surgery…Obesity Main Contributor of Diabetes in African Americans…Sugary Drinks’ Link to Diabetes Confirmed by Review…Living Next to Fitness Facility May Lower Obesity Risk…Opinion: U.S. Should Put Warning Labels on Unhealthy Food Products

Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in the News…

How Bariatric Surgery Changed This Governor's Life (Forbes)

Story profiles how bariatric surgery changed Maine’s Governor Paul LePage and First Lady Ann LePage’s lives for the better. LePage underwent sleeve gastrectomy as an outpatient procedure in September 2017 and was reportedly back to work the following day. As the Governor and his wife described at the 2017 ASBMS State Chapter Rally, the surgeries have already made big differences in their qualities of life. Governor LePage also told the Boston Globe that "there's 50 less pounds of me to hate."

Surgeon Proposes Algorithm for Treating Reflux After Bariatric Surgery
(General Surgery News)

Reports on a presentation at the 2017 Bariatric Summit by Dr. Leena Khaitan, associate professor of surgery and director at UH Digestive Health Institute, in Cleveland, who proposed an “algorithm” for evaluating and treating acid reflux following sleeve gastrectomy as an alternative to the “common approach” of conversion to gastric bypass. “There are more and more reports coming out showing patients after sleeve gastrectomy see that their reflux gets worse,” commented ASMBS Past-President Dr. Raul Rosenthal, professor of surgery and chairman of the Department of General Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, in Weston, Fla. To prevent a reflux problem in future patients, endoscopy should be mandatory in all patients seeking weight loss surgery, he added. “If a patient has gastroesophageal reflux disease, then the patient should be counseled to rather have a gastric bypass. If there are no signs of reflux, that patient should probably have a sleeve gastrectomy.”

Weight Loss: How to Keep off the Pounds for Good (The Mercury News)

ASMBS Past-President Dr. John Morton is featured in this article about using diet and exercise routine to maintain long-term weight loss. “A lot of diets can help you lose weight but the hard part is finding a diet you can stick to over the long haul,” commented Dr. Morton, chief of bariatric surgery at Stanford Health Care. “That’s the real challenge. Can you maintain the weight loss over time?” Dr. Morton advises people to follow the “old adage about eating like a king at breakfast and a pauper at dinner,” and suggests exercising in between leaving work and coming home so that the activity can be an “emotional buffer zone” that helps fight stress, which is one of the factors that causes people to overeat. “Stress triggers cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone in the body,” said Morton, “and that makes your body fight even harder to hold onto those pounds.”

Low Rates of Major Complications After Bariatric Surgery (Doctors Lounge)

Data from 71 U.S. studies conducted from 2003 to 2014 shows rates of three major complications -- anastomotic leak, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism -- at less than 30 days after bariatric surgery are low, but vary among procedures, according to research published in Obesity Reviews. Anastomotic leak rate was 1.15 percent, myocardial infarction rate was 0.37 percent, and pulmonary embolism rate was 1.17 percent. Rates of myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism were higher for gastric bypass than gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy, however, the rate of anastomotic leak was higher for sleeve gastrectomy. For all patients, the mortality rate after anastomotic leak, myocardial infarction, and pulmonary embolism was 0.12, 0.37, and 0.18 percent, respectively.

Obesity in the News…

Obesity is the Main Contributor to Diabetes in Blacks and Whites
(The New York Times)

According to a new study in JAMA, compared to whites, black men were 67 percent more likely, and black women almost three times as likely, to develop diabetes. Researchers examined 4,251 black and white men and women ages 18 to 30 who were not diabetic and followed up with periodic interviews and health examinations over an average of 25 years. When researchers controlled for a modifiable risk factors — fasting glucose, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood lipids, location of residence, socioeconomic status and more — the difference in diabetes incidence between the races disappeared. The findings indicate that obesity, rather than racial factors, is the key variable.

Review Confirms Link Between Sugary Drinks and Obesity (Medical News Today)

A review published in the journal Obesity Facts, of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, looked at 20 studies addressing the link between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and obesity in children and 10 studies investigating this link in the case of adults. Of all the studies, 93 percent concluded that there was a "positive association" between the onset of overweight or obesity and the consumption of sugary drinks in both children and adults. The review also looked at the effectiveness of interventional behavior in reversing the effect of sugary drink consumption. Among adults in the prospective cohort studies, it was found that replacing SSBs with water and providing education counselling to the consumers was somewhat effective but not statistically significant. Authors of the review suggest that the implementation of higher taxes on sugary drinks could curb their popularity among consumers, as well as help to diminish the risk of excessive weight gain - a strategy that seems to have succeeded in Mexico, where total sales for sugary drinks have fallen
by 12 percent.

Does Living Next to a Gym Lower Obesity Risk? (Medical News Today)

According to new research published in The Lancet Public Health, living near a physical activity facility — such as a gym, swimming pool, or football field — might facilitate people to lose weight. The findings are based on data from a large cohort study called the U.K. Biobank study that looked at whether residential proximity to fast food outlets and physical exercise centers had any bearing on weight measurements. Adults between 40 and 70 years old attended a total of 21 assessment centers between 2006 and 2010. Individuals living in close proximity to at least six exercise facilities had a waistline that was 1.22 centimeters smaller, a BMI that was 0.57 points lower, and a body fat percentage that was 0.81 percent lower,
on average.

Combat Obesity Like Chile (U.S. News & World Report - Opinion)

Deborah Cohen, senior natural scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation, says countries should follow Chile’s lead in identifying and implementing obesity-control strategies to end the obesity epidemic. Realizing that an epidemic of obesity is primarily the consequence of the consumption of excess sugar, salt and fat found in ultra-processed foods and beverages, Chile's Ministry of Health worked with graphic artists to develop simple warning labels for packaged food. Since initiation last year, nearly 40 percent of Chilean citizens now say they use the labels to help them decide what to buy. Cohen says that although the food industry will likely protest the use of health warning labels in the U.S., such warnings would help Americans make better choices. She says America must put the health of its citizens first, and the food industry will find a way to adapt and prosper, as it did
in Chile.