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The Biggest Loser Chef Serves the Facts You Need to Know About Weight Loss Surgery

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Srudies show that the obese live longer with weight loss surgery

Are you considering weight loss surgery to get back into shape? Here’s what a chef from "The Biggest Loser" reveals that you need to know about bariatric surgery before going under the knife.


According to recent article in U.S. News & World Report, contributing writer Cheryl Forberg, RD (a chef and nutritionist for TV’s "The Biggest Loser”) there is more to gain by resorting to weight loss surgery than by doing nothing at all―a significantly longer lifespan.

However, there is an estimated rate of death from bariatric surgery ranging from less than 1 percent to as much as 2 percent depending on which study is cited. But more than that, she warns that there are other facts and caveats that potential weight loss surgery patients need to know about before deciding on going through with the surgery. The following is a summary of what Ms. Forberg reveals to obese and overweight dieters who are unable to manage their diet and exercise on what they need to know about turning to weight loss surgery as an option.

Weight Loss Surgery Fact #1: By undergoing a weight loss procedure such as gastric bypass or stomach banding, you will reduce your odds of dying—compared to a similarly aged obese person—by about 50 percent.

Weight Loss Surgery Fact #2: Overall, death rates compared between gastric bypass and stomach banding are comparable. However, when factoring in the protective effects between the two types of bariatric surgeries on heart-related deaths, gastric bypass may result in a longer lifespan. Studies show that stomach banding yields about a 29 percent lowered odds of heart-related death versus a 52 percent risk reduction with gastric bypass.

Weight Loss Surgery Fact #3: Bariatric surgery is expensive―the lap band and the popular sleeve gastrectomy procedures costing roughly $14,000. And the gastric bypass procedure costs about $26,000, which may or may not be covered depending on your health insurance policy.

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Weight Loss Surgery Fact #4: There’s more to consider than cost—complications after surgery (rates vary from 7 percent to as much as 20 percent) can include staple or suture ruptures resulting in stomach acid leaks into the body, infection, hemorrhaging, ulcers, bowel issues and nutritional deficiencies.

Weight Loss Surgery Fact #5: No matter which type of bariatric procedure is used, bariatric surgery is not a fail-safe weight-loss solution―many people who actually have some type of bariatric surgery, wind up gaining the weight back again. According to Ms. Forberg, “…the band actually has a high failure rate: Furtado says that 50 percent of people who have adjustable gastric banding surgery fail to lose 30 percent of their excess weight―where losing 30 to 50 percent of excess pounds is considered successful. On average, gastric bypass patients lose 60 to 70 percent of excess body weight, with some weight regain―5 to 10 percent is normal…with the sleeve [gastrectomy procedure], patients lose an average of 40 to 60 percent of their excess weight loss in the five years following the procedure.”

Weight Loss Surgery Fact #6: Even the most sophisticated bariatric surgery procedure will only take you so far, meaning that weight loss surgery patients need to change their relationship with food in order to keep the weight off and achieve true weight loss success, which requires adopting a healthy lifestyle with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, eating healthy proteins and heart-healthy fats, drinking a lot of water, getting regular exercise, and finding balanced emotional health and support from friends and loved ones.

For more from about weight loss recommendations from U.S. News & World Report, here is an informative piece about Two Fast Weight Loss Diets Ranked High by U.S. News & World Report.

Reference: U.S. News & World Report―”Being Mindful About Weight-Loss Surgery

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