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Surgery Better for Weight Loss Than Diet, Lifestyle Changes

Gastric banding reduces weight, resolves metabolic syndrome

TUESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with mild to moderate obesity, gastric banding is more effective in reducing weight and resolving the metabolic syndrome than non-surgical weight-loss therapy, according to a study in the May 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Paul E. O'Brien, M.D., of Monash University Medical School in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 80 adults with mild to moderate obesity, defined as a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 to 35 kg/m2. The subjects were assigned to either a non-surgical group that adopted a program of very-low-calorie diets, pharmacotherapy and lifestyle changes for 24 months, or a surgical group that underwent placement of a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAP-BAND System).

At two years, mean weight loss among those in the surgical group was 21.6 percent of initial weight lost and 87.2 percent of excess weight lost, compared with 5.5 percent of initial weight lost and 21.8 percent of excess weight lost for the non-surgical group.

"Undoubtedly, the report will increase the public's already substantial and growing interest in bariatric surgery," according to an editorial. "We hope, however, that the findings will not cause primary care providers or their patients to overlook the positive health benefits of a 5 percent to 10 percent weight loss achieved with lifestyle modification."

This research was supported in part by INAMED Health, manufacturer of the LAP-BAND System, and two authors have received grants or consulting fees from the company.

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