Improve Bariatric Surgery Outcomes

Addressing barriers not related to obesity may improve the effectiveness of bariatric surgery, according to authors of a new study published in Obesity Surgery. In an interview-based study of 19 bariatric surgery patients, the researchers found that participants perceived certain barriers to physical activity, including lack of motivation, environment, and restricted resources.

The study begins by saying that candidates for bariatric surgery engage in less physical activity and tend to have a more sedentary lifestyle when compared with the general adult population.

The Study

The researchers interviewed the patients about to undergo bariatric surgery. The scientists wanted to explore what the subjects believed about physical activity and learn what the participants thought prevented them from engaging in exercise.

Fifteen of the 19 participants were female with a mean age of 41.6 years and weight of 262.7 pounds. Most participants recognized the health benefits associated with exercise but they reported that they did not engage in enough physical activity to obtain those benefits.

Perceived Barriers to Physical Activity to Address Obesity

Participants reported perceived obesity and non-obesity related barriers to physical activity. The participants said the following obesity-related barriers prevented them from exercising:

  • Body pain
  • Physical limitations
  • Self-presentational concerns

The study subjects also named barriers not related to obesity, including lack of motivation, environment, and restricted resources.

All participants said losing weight would facilitate physical activity, as would better time management, access to financial resources and other social factors.

Because they are unrelated to obesity, however, lifestyle choices like sedentary behavior and a lack of physical activity are not likely to change after weight loss treatment without a concerted effort on the patient’s part.

To optimize the outcome of bariatric surgery, a patient should work with her laparoscopic doctor to develop a weight loss treatment that includes increased physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior.