According to a new study published in. Archives of Surgery, family members of people who had weight loss surgery adopted healthier lifestyle and eating habits. All the members in the family were active for over a year after the surgery, and overweight members in the family lost an average of 8 pounds during the same period.
In Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is reduced into a small pouch and connected to the middle of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the anterior parts of the intestine. Gavitt A. Woodard, MD, and colleagues from Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, says that bypass surgery for one person provides additional benefits to the family members by improving their weight, eating habits and activity levels. This may be very significant in containing childhood obesity, say researchers, as having an obese parent is one of the biggest risk factors for childhood obesity. The obesity rate in children whose mother had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery reduces by 52% when compared to children born to mothers before having the surgery.
In this study, 35 people who had gastric bypass surgery and their family members were observed for their lifestyle changes. They also recorded the lifestyle habits of 15 children below the age of 18-years-old among the family members. The weight loss of the participants who underwent the surgery was typical of those who had a gastric bypass. Researchers noted that the weight loss among the obese adult family members were also significant – from 234 to 226 pounds. The waist circumference decreased considerably in the obese family members.
The results also show that the growth curve of the obese children in the family had a lower BMI than expected during the first year after the surgery. This was not very significant when compared to the adults.
The lifestyle habits of the participants and their family members also improved considerably after the surgery:
- Uncontrolled and emotional eating was reduced considerably among the people who had the surgery.
- Emotional eating and overeating reduced among the adult family members also.
- Children of the people who had the surgery had more chances of being on diet.
- Physical activity of the children in the family of the people who had the surgery increased considerably.
Researchers feel that when one member in the family takes up a healthy lifestyle others follow automatically which helps to improve the overall health in the family.