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Bariatric Surgery's Halo Effect: Weight Loss for the Whole Family

family biking

Bariatric surgery improves the health and well-being of those who undergo surgery, but a recent study at Stanford University School of Medicine shows the positive impact actually extends to the entire immediate family.

Researchers found that one year after a family member's gastric bypass surgery, other obese adults in the family lost an average of eight pounds and obese children had a lower body mass index than expected for their growth curve. The family members and children that participated in the study accompanied the bariatric patient to all pre- and post-operative clinic visits, including diet and lifestyle counseling. 

Adult family members reported improved eating habits with less uncontrollable eating, emotional eating and alcohol consumption. Both adults and children reported a significant increase in their activity levels.

The results of this study come as no surprise to members of the Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery team who have witnessed this pattern many times. After bariatric surgery, patients often report that their pursuit of a healthier lifestyle spurred changes for their whole family, including kitchen cabinet makeovers, healthier home-cooked meals and family fun nights that involve physical activity.

Family members and friends are always welcome to attend Penn Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program information sessions and support groups to help their family members and to help themselves as well. 

Note: The study was published on Oct. 17, 2011 in the Archives of Surgery.

About this Blog

Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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