Friday, October 22, 2010

WLS Support Groups Work!

Did you know that if you attend an in-person WLS support group that you have a better chance to lose more weight and keep it off more successfully for the long term?  Yep, it's true!

I attend 3 different meetings each month - one of them I lead. If you don't have a local group, then start your own and gather other WLS patients in your area to meet on a monthly basis.

For more information about the groups I attend... as well as support group meeting topics... see the special page for Support Groups above.

I found a couple studies on the topic.

  • Zirui Song, et al published an article in the ASMBS publication Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases (SOARD) in 2006 entitled: "Association between support group attendance and weight loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass."

    Results: Patients who attended more than 5 support meetings within the first year lost 55.5% of their excess weight. Patients who attended less than 5 meetings lost 47.1%. So by attending meetings, they lost an additional 8.4% of their excess weight.

    In real world numbers that would mean:300-pound pre-op weight, with 135-pound ideal weight = 165-pound excess weight
    >>  47.1% EBWL = 77lbs lost
    >> 55.5% EBWL = 92lbs lost

  • Whitney S. Orth, et al presented their findings at the International Federation of the Surgery of Obesity annual meeting in 2006 in a report called: "Support Group Meeting Attendance is Associated with Better Weight Loss."

    Results: Patients who attended support meetings saw a reduction in BMI by 42% whereas patients who did not attend, only realized a 32% reduction in BMI.

    In real world numbers that would mean:300-pound pre-op weight at 5'6" (me!) = 48 BMI>> 32% reduction = ending at 33 BMI (still obese)
    >> 42% reduction = ending at 28 BMI (just overweight)
So what does that mean to you?  It means, find a support group in your area and attend the meetings!  In fact, find more than one support group and attend as many meetings as possible. 


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