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Survey of the Effective Exercise Habits of the Formerly Obese

JSLS Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Publication Date
DOI: 10.4293/108680810x12674612014905
  • Scientific Papers
  • Medicine


Background and Objective: Patients must subscribe to behavioral and lifestyle modifications for continued success after weight loss surgery (WLS). Few data exist about the ideal type, duration, and intensity of exercise for WLS patients. After surgery, should we mandate that patients exercise like a young, lean individual does? To reconcile this, we compared the exercise habits of successful bariatric surgery patients with physically fit controls. Methods: One hundred individuals were enrolled. The operative group (OG) included 50 laparoscopic Roux-Y gastric bypass patients (LRYGB) who achieved excess weight loss of at least 80% one year after the surgery. The control group (CG) included 50 individuals of normal BMI who exercised regularly and did not undergo LRYGB. The exercise habits were compared using Fisher's exact and Mantel-Haenszel chi square tests. Results: The 2 groups had equivalent BMIs (24.7 vs. 23.4 kg/m2). The OG was older (39.5 years) than the CG (26.2 years). There was a statistically significant difference between the groups regarding cardiovascular exercise, 80% walking (OG) vs. 60% running (CG). OG patients exercised longer and with similar frequency as CG did. A high proportion of CG lifted weights (86%) vs. OG (44%). Sixty percent of CG performed recreational sports compared with 34% of OG. Conclusion: Regular exercise is of utmost importance in maximizing and maintaining weight loss after WLS. Although patients who undergo WLS are older than the typical exercise enthusiast, they can achieve excellent weight loss and sustain a normal BMI with regular exercise habits that are quite distinct from younger individuals whose bodies were never undermined by obesity.

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