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Obesity briefs - Brain Proteins, School Food and Metabolic Surgery


Here are some news briefs on the obesity front from the weekend covering everything from a study about brain proteins' effect on weight to using bariatric surgery to treat metabolic diseases.

KC-Area Benefits Company Argues in Support of Bariatric Surgery Benefits: Midwestern Benefits Company Lockton has released a report encouraging employers to offer weight loss surgery benefits in addition to wellness programs.

Obesity regulating gene found? London researchers have identified a gene they claim regulates obesity. The gene was previously known to be linked to cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. This study found that it also influenced other genes that regulate BMI (body mass index), cholesterol and glucose and insulin levels. The study, which was pubished in Nature Genetics offers hopes for new treatments for metabolic diseases.

Overweight? It's all in your head:A story from the Weizmann Institute of Science, published in the May issue of Cell Metabolism, followed mice that were engineered to lack the protein tyrosine phosphatase epsilon (PTPe) and found that without PTPe, mice were better able to regulate their weight. They found that PTPe dampens signals from the hormone leptin in the hypothalamus, leading to reduced appetite and increased physical activity. Researchers know that obese people tend to have an exess of leptin in their blood.

The results of the study suggest that another part of the obesity puzzle involves leptin insensitivity and if scientists could inhibit PTPe, it could improve leptin response to reduce appetite and increase physical activity. Think about that next time someone says that you simply need to eat less and exercise more.

Can video games contribute to obesity? Danish and Canadian researchers watched teenage boys who played video games and compared them to similar boys who were not playing video games. If they played for an hour, video gamers would burn an extra 21 calories compared to the others, but when offered a snack, they would eat 80 more calories than the kids who did not play video games. 

Parents in Oman Worried about Childhood Obesity, School Lunches: Parents of children in Oman are fighting problems familiar in America: the impact of school lunches on childhood obesity. Specifically, they are looking to remove low-quality meats, french fries and fizzy drinks from private schoole menus.

Bariatric Surgery recommended for Metabolic Diseases: with recent recommendations from the FDA and the American Heart Association, lowering the Body Mass Index specifications for people to get weight loss surgery if they suffer from diabetes, the mainstream media is starting to pay attention. 

From the Orlando Sentinel:

One review study of 3,188 obese, Type 2 diabetics who had bariatric surgery found that 78 percent of them no longer had diabetes afterward, according to a 2009 report published in the American Journal of Medicine. And the disease still had not returned by the two-year follow-up.

Another randomized study of obese Type 2 diabetics, published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 73 percent of those who had gastric-banding procedures achieved remission of their diabetes, compared with only 13 percent using lifestyle and medication to treat their diabetes.

It is, however, important to note that one can never be rid entirely of diabetes and that remission is always a possibility. It is also important to note that while the article speaks of various bariatric procedures, surgeons at Weight Loss Surgical Center perform only laparascopic adjustable gastric banding, which does not involve cutting, stapling or re-routing of your digestive tract.

Alcohol addiction risk with gastric bypass: A study of a Sweedish database of bariatric patients revealed that bypass patients were twice as likely to need treatment for alcohol addiction. The article explains that bypassing part of the digestive tract allows for faster alcohol absorption and increased risk of dependency.

If you're suffering from the dangerous combination of obesity and diabetes, weight loss surgery may be an option to help. Learn more about diabetes and LAP-BAND Surgery today.

Chucks says his health improved after lap band surgery



In the second video segment from Chuck, a 100+ pound success story from our Independence, Missouri lap band clinic, Chuck discusses his health.

When he was at 317 pounds, he said that he had trouble playing with his kid, doing yard work or even tying his shoes. His health was at risk, with elevated blood pressure, severe asthma that would leave him in the hospital, and a likely diabetes diagnosis looming in the future.

Fortunately, Chuck knew someone who had lost a lot of weight with her own Lap Band, and he decided to follow her lead. Now his blood pressure, pulse and asthma have all improved, and he's exercising regularly.

If you're ready to begin your own weight loss journey, download our free kit of weight loss surgery information today.

11 Weight Loss Tips for 2011, Part 10: Treat Illnesses Appropriately


This is the tenth in an 11-part series of weight loss tips for 2011. Yesterday, we talked about visiting with healthcare providers about weight loss. Today, we’re talking about what to do when you get sick.

When you get sick, you feel miserable and don’t want to think about losing weight, exercising, dieting, journaling or any of that other stuff we’ve been discussing over the past couple weeks. Here are four tips for treating your illness without sabotaging your weight loss.

  1. Return to liquids – even if you don’t feel like eating food, you need to keep yourself hydrated. This is especially important for people who have had gastric banding procedures, because they can’t drink as fast. It is important to drink sips of liquid, about every 10 minutes.
  2. Add sugar – You weren’t expecting that, were you? Sugar is important when you are sick, even for diabetics. If you are not eating your regular diet, sugar will help you maintain your blood sugar and energy levels.
  3.  Call your healthcare provider – Depending on what condition you are facing, you may need to take specific actions to help yourself recover more quickly. Call your primary care physician or other healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms or schedule an appointment.
  4. Don’t use it as an excuse – A few days down can really mess with your routine, and it can be difficult to re-motivate yourself. Once you start feeling better, decide how you are going to return to your weight loss plan. Plan how long you believe you’ll need before returning to regular eating and how long you’ll need before you are ready to start your physical activity or exercise plan again.

Illness is only a setback if you let it be. Certainly, you should take care of yourself, seek treatment, rest and nurse yourself back to health. Once you’re back on your feet, it’s time to get back to your weight loss plan.

At Weight Loss Surgical Center, we help people lose weight with adjustable gastric band surgery and a special focus on long-term support after surgery. If you would like to learn more about what we do, download our free kit of adjustable gastric band surgery information.

Read more:
Next: Weight Loss Tip 11: Reward Yourself
Prev: Weight Loss Tip 9: Visit your Doctor

11 Weight Loss Tips for 2011, Part 9: Visit your Doctor


This is the ninth in an 11-part series of weight loss tips for 2011. Yesterday, we talked about keeping a journal for weight loss. Today, we’re discussing talking to your healthcare provider.

Your doctor or healthcare provider probably knows a lot about weight loss. As obesity is the new American epidemic, healthcare professionals are more routinely treating obesity-related diseases. A really good doctor or nurse practitioner will go beyond just treating the symptoms and helping you figure out how to lose weight and keep it off.

There are many ways to go about this:

  • Visit your Primary Care Physician – This is always a great place to get started with any health concern, and remember that weight loss is not only a cosmetic issue; it’s a very important health issue. Many primary care physicians will assist you with a diet plan and help you monitor your progress.
  • Visit your gastric band fill practitioner – If you’re a gastric band patient, you really ought to follow your practitioners’ advice about routine care. Many healthcare providers who specialize in gastric band follow-up recommend monthly follow-up in the first year or so, and it’s important to return annually to check for potential problems and reinforce the education you received during the first year.
  • Attend a healthcare-focused weight loss support group – most bariatric programs realize the importance of regular follow-up care and support, so they host support groups. It’s a great way to get advice from all sorts of people struggling with similar problems as yourself.
  • Attend a specialized support group for your ailments – some medical groups have regular support groups for specific conditions, such as diabetes. Ask around, and you might find one that is a good fit for you.
  • Try a physician-assisted weight loss program – If your PCP does not have a regular weight loss program, ask for his or her assistance in finding one that specializes in weight loss. Most cities have several physicians who focus exclusively on weight loss and can teach you a lot about how your body uses food as energy and stores it as fat.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you certainly know that while everyone wants to look good and have energy, weight loss is more about improving your health. That’s why it is important to discuss it with your healthcare providers.

At Weight Loss Surgical Center, we help people lose weight with adjustable gastric banding surgery and a special focus on long-term support after surgery. If you would like to learn more about what we do, download our free kit of adjustable gastric band surgery information.

Read more:
Next: Weight Loss Tip 10: Treat Illnesses Appropriately
Prev: Weight Loss Tip 8: Keep a Journal

Poll results: How much weight loss do you want or need?


Here are the results from last week's poll about how much weight loss our readers want, versus how much they feel they need in order to improve their health.

On average, our readers said that they would need to lose an average of 108 lbs to improve their self image but only 98 lbs to improve their health - a difference of 10 lbs.

It is not especially relevant to these figures, but interesting to note that a recent campaign by Dr. Oz is encouraging people to get started at losing simply 10 lbs because even at 10 lbs, people begin to see health improvements.

Some of the benefits of a 10-lb weight loss include lower cholesterol numbers and lower blood pressure. Reduced risk for dementia, heart attacks, diabetes and sleep apnea also follow as well as an increased sex drive, decreased joint pain and a decreased need for medication.

There is a lot to measure there, and if just the first 10 lbs can improve all those things, then imagine what meeting that 98-lb average goal could do!

Here are a few more key ideas that could be broken out from the poll data:

  • The median number for weight loss for both self-image and health benefits was 75-100 lbs.
  • 32 percent of people believed that they needed to lose more than 100 lbs to improve their health.
  • 48 percent of people believed that they needed to lose more than 100 lbs in order to improve their self image.

Now on to this week's survey:


Five unexpected ways a LAP BAND can save you money


When considering a LAP-BAND weight loss surgery, the first question many people ask is: how much does a lap band cost?

Even if your insurance plan does not cover bariatric surgery, and you have to pay cash for or finance your band, you may find that weight loss surgery can help you save money in the long run.

Here are five of the hidden costs of obesity:

  • Grocery and dining costs - Consider that someone with a lap band can get full on only 1/2 to 1 cup of food and think about what impact that could have on the grocery or restaurant bill.
  • Missed days of work - A 2007 study showed that overweight women were 61 percent more likely to miss work time than women with healthy weight. For morbidly obese women, the figure was 118 percent. 
  • Other weight loss programs - Can you calculate how much you've personally spent on diets? As a country we spend $42 billion each year. How many of those worked?
  • Gasoline - Did you know an extra 100 pounds in your car can reduce its fuel efficiency by 2 percent? That can really add up over the years, especially as fuel prices increase.
  • Other medical expenses - If you're struggling with diabetes, hypertension, depression, joint pains, gastric reflux or any other obesity related ailment, you will likely be able to substantially cut your medical and prescription expenses by losing weight.

If you're struggling with obesity, go ahead and put together your own budget to figure out how much your finances are being weighed down.

And while that cost might not be equal to the surgery cost in the first year, consider that the surgery cost is a one-time expense, but the obesity costs above are cumulitive over time and can often get worse.

If you're interested in learning more about weight loss surgery and how it works to improve your health - and potentially your finances - download our free weight loss surgery information kit today!

LAP-BAND System's New TV Commercials


Allergan has launched new TV Commercials for the LAP-BAND System.

If you have not yet caught one of Allergan's new commercials for its LAP-BAND System, you can view all the versions of the ads here.

They have four versions:

  • Absolution talks about what people did to lose weight before they got LAP-BAND Surgery for lasting weight loss success.
  • Band vs. Bypass discusses the differences between gastric banding and gastric bypass and why patients choose LAP-BAND, including safety, not having to staple your stomach, and quick recovery.
  • Cost reveals that insurance covers the cost of LAP-BAND Surgery for some patients.
  • Health talks about how the band is not just about weight loss, but about improving health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and joint pain.

If you're interested in learning more about the LAP-BAND System for weight loss, please download our free LAP-BAND Materials to learn more.


Adjustable Gastric Banding Basics

Adjustable gastric banding is not an absolute cure for obesity, but it is a powerful tool for weight loss. Here's how:

1. Proper band placement by a qualified surgeon. At Weight Loss Surgical Center, we have three surgeons on staff who specialize in gastric bands and have successfully placed hundreds of gastric bands. The procedure is normally out-patient with nine out of 10 of our patients leaving the surgery center the same days as their gastric band surgery.

2.   Long-term diet is crucial for an adjustable gastric banding patient to be successful. Remember that the surgeon and surgery are just the first step, and there are many more important steps, especially concerning your diet, along your weight loss journey.

This is why we have so many people, throughout the Midwest, dedicated to your weight loss success. Some key things about diet they will teach you are to:

a. Eat 50-60% protein, followed by fruits and vegetables

b. Chew thoroughly, with small bites, until it is almost liquefied and to eat meals slowly

c. Do not drink any liquid with your meals or for 45 minutes after a meal

d. Eat three meals a day, especially breakfast

e. Avoid foods that crumble or slip through the band easily

f. Focus on high-nutrient foods packed with vitamins and minerals

3.   Follow-up regularly with our local adjustable gastric band care providers. We have medical providers in Overland Park, Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; Independence, Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City North (coming soon), MissouriDes Moines, Iowa; and Omaha, Nebraska, to help patients learn to use their new weight loss tool effectively.

Generally, we recommend an adjustable gastric band follow-up schedule along these guidelines:

a. Post-op visit one week after surgery to check incisions, etc.

b. First gastric band fill, 4 weeks after surgery.

c. Subsequent fills every 2-3 weeks as instructed by your provider until you hit your sweet spot. Weight Loss Surgical has pioneered new techniques to hit your sweet spot sooner.

d. Quarterly follow-up for two years after hitting your sweet spot

4. Exercise to burn more calories than you take in. Walk 30 minutes daily, use an elliptical machine, stationary bicycle or swim. Start slow, and increase the length and intensity of your workouts as your body adjusts to exercising.

Adjustable gastric banding risks 

As with any surgery, there are some potential risks with adjustable gastric banding, though it is the safest weight loss surgery currently available. Be sure to read your band manufacturer's information and talk to your surgeon about the adjustable gastric band of your choice before making a final decision about surgery.

Health improvements 

83% of people with type II diabetes can successfully get off prescription medications, under the direction of their primary care physician, once they lose weight with the band.

66% of people with high blood pressure can successfully get off prescription medications once they lose weight with the band, and the remaining 34% can usually have their medications reduced. Patients should reduce their medications only under the guidance of their primary care physician.

New studies on adjustable gastric banding are regularly released and have found improvements to other health conditions, including sleep apneaGERD and asthma.

Cancer Risk: Another Reason for Adjustable Gastric Banding?


A December 26 study in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that restricted calorie diets - a primary feature of adjustable gastric banding - help human cells live longer by restricting the amount of glucose they are exposed to.

The study was a lab study on lung cells - some healthy and some precancerous. The cells were exposed to different levels of glucose and examined over a period of weeks for signs of health, such as cell division and life.

The interesting thing is that the precancerous cells that recieved lower amounts of glucose were more likely to die, which could indicate that lower calorie, thus lower glucose diets could help prevent some forms of cancer.

We have also known for some time that obese individuals had higher risk of cancers of the breast, endometrium (the uteral lining), colon, kidney, and esophagus. This study does not link its findings to any of these cancers specifically, but we already know that losing weight through physical excercise and calorie restriction, as occurs after a LAP-BAND Surgery, helps to reduce these risks.

Added to the list of other diseases that are improved with weight loss through adjustable gastric banding, and anyone considering the LAP-BAND or REALIZE Band has some pretty good health reasons to do so:

If you are considering a serious, proven medical method for weight loss, download our free LAP-BAND materials to learn more about the surgery and how it can help you improve your health.


Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2009, December 26). Calorie restriction: Scientists take important step toward 'fountain of youth'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 15, 2010, from

Adjustable Gastric Bands help with a variety of conditions


It is widely known that adjustable gastric bands improve morbid and severe obesity by helping people lose significant amounts of weight, but gastric bands help other conditions, too.

Five of the top conditions gastric bands helps improve are:

  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension

All five of these conditions have association with obesity, along with many more. Losing a signficant amount of weight often can help improve conditions like these.

Primarily, though, gastric bands treat morbid and severe obesity, which is the cause of or contributor to many other problems.

For instance, we all know that cigarette smoking or alcohol abuse can lead to harmful health effects, but a 2002 study showed that obesity caused more harmful effects than either of those activities.

Fortunately, we live in a time that obesity is being studied more and more as a disease instead of it being oversimplified to lifestyle choices. Today, doctors recognize severe obesity as a chronic disease, and surgical options for weight loss are constantly being examined and improved.

A number of studies have shown that long-term weight loss with adjustable gastric bands can lead to improved health.

Specifically, for our previous five conditions, consider that after gastric band surgery:

  • patients reported reductions in asthma severity.
  • 93% of patients with sleep apnea reported resolution after a year.
  • 90% of patients with GERD had improved reflux symptoms.
  • patients achieved up to 80% complete resolution of diabetes.
  • patients experienced significant blood pressure improvements, allowing many to go off hypertension medications.

The studies that produced these results noted an average excess weight loss of 38% to 58% in the first year after gastric band surgery, and gastric band patients typically continue to lose weight well beyond their first years.

These important improvements of a variety of disease states vividly show why at Weight Loss Surgical Center, we do not view gastric banding as a cosmetic procedure, but a powerful, life-changing tool that can help you lose weight, get healthy and get more of life.

Because gastric band surgery helps so many conditions, many insurance companies offer benefits for gastric band surgery. Schedule your initial consultation today so we can find out about your insurance benefits.

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