Posts Tagged ‘obese parent’

Gastric Bypass Helps the Whole Family Lose Weight

One of the biggest risks for becoming an obese child is having an obese parent.

But what happens if an obese parent makes the changes necessary to lose weight?

What if that includes undergoing gastric bypass surgery?

A new study shows that the obesity rate in children of mothers who have had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is 52% lower after surgery compared with the obesity rate in children born to the same mothers before surgery.

“If one member of the family makes drastic lifestyle changes following surgery, it is possible that other family members will adopt similar healthy habits,” writes Gavitt A. Woodard, MD and colleagues from Stanford University School of Medicine in the October issue of Archives of Surgery.

The Stanford doctors observed the weight and lifestyle changes of 35 patients who had gastric bypass surgery as well as 35 adult family members and 15 children under age 18.

As expected, one year following surgery the patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery lost a typical amount of weight, the doctors say.

What’s more, all adult family members dropped an average of 22 pounds, from 220 to 198 pounds.

And obese children had a lower body mass index than was expected for their growth curve at the one-year follow-up.

How did the family members lose weight?

A year following surgery, both patients and adult family members made significant changes in their eating habits.

The gastric bypass patients also significantly increasing cognitive control of eating while decreasing uncontrolled and emotional eating.

Adult family members significantly decreased uncontrolled eating and emotional eating.

Additionally, children of the surgery patients were twice as likely to report being on a diet to lose weight one year post-surgery.

Children also benefited from fewer daily hours of television watching and increased hours of physical activity after a parent underwent gastric bypass surgery.

“Obesity is a family health concern,” say the Stanford doctors.

“This study demonstrates that performing a gastric bypass operation on one patient has a halo of positive effect on the weight, eating habits, activity level, and health behaviors of the entire family.”

In addition to purchasing food for the family, parents serve as role models for healthy behavior.

Parents who examine their own habits and make healthy changes, even ones as drastic as gastric bypass surgery, can play a significant role in the battle against childhood obesity.